Back in 2011, Malta was one of the last countries in the world that did not allow divorce. However, since its introduction 2,859 have terminated their union, parliamentary figures have revealed.
Separations still remain the more popular choice for Maltese couples, with roughly 850 taking place every single year. When it comes to divorce, after reaching a high of 432 on the first full year of its introduction in 2012, the number has hovered at around 370 per year. In 2019, there have 237 divorces as of September.
For those fearing a potential threat Malta’s marriage population, the number of people who tie the knot every year doubles the amount who parts ways, with 2,552 couples getting married in 2018.
The first in a long line of liberal policies, the divorce campaign kicked off in 2010. Led by former MPs Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Deborah Schembri, close to three-quarters of the electorate voted in a hotly debated non-binding referendum.
53% voted in favour. However, when the divorce bill came before parliament, former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi controversially voted against its introduction, despite the result, as did several other MPs.
He has since said that he regrets his decision to do so.
Divorce became law in October 2011. Since then, Malta has become a world leader in progressive issues, with the current Labour government introducing a swathe of liberal policies, namely marriage equality, parental rights, and reproductive issues.