Peterborough is the number one city in the UK where people are searching for ‘divorce’
  • 6th Sep 2021
  • Share:

The last 18 months have been a time of uncertainty in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. A time which has changed our perceptions of how we want to live our lives and for some spend our time with. 

In light of this, the Kent-based law firm Whitehead Monckton has carried out research to uncover which cities have searched for ‘divorce’ the most over the last year to reveal the divorce hotspots in the UK.

Divorce search terms were also analysed such as ‘how to get a divorce’ and ‘divorce application’ which are both up compared to 12 months ago. 

Results Overview

  • Peterborough is the number one city in the UK where people have searched for divorce 
  • The term ‘divorce’ has fallen over the last year but peaked just after Christmas as the nation went into a hard lockdown and again in May before restrictions were lifted. 
  • Searches for ‘divorce lawyers near me’ is up a huge 417% 
  • Searches for ‘how to get a divorce’  is up 126% 

Peterborough is the number one city in the UK where people have searched Google the most for more information on divorce followed by Leicester, Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester. 

The UK’s Divorce Hotspots

Our research shows that the UK divorce hotspots for divorce are:

1. Peterborough- 100
2. Leicester - 86
3. Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester- 85
4. Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bournemouth - 78
5. London,76
6. Glasgow, Bradford, Hull -  75
7. Cardiff, Edinburgh - 72
8. Plymouth,Southampton -  71
9. Leeds,66
10. Liverpool,Portsmouth, Belfast and Derby - 65

The term ‘divorce’ has fallen slightly over the last year ((8/31/20 - 8/31/21), however it peaked just before Christmas as the nation went into a hard lockdown and then again in May as lockdown restrictions started to ease (as highlighted in the graph below)

  • Searches for ‘divorce’ have fallen over the last year by 28% 


  • However, searches for ‘how to get a divorce’  are up 126% 


  • Searches for ‘how long does it take to get a divorce in the uk’ peaked mid August 2021 - perhaps ahead of the expected rise in people applying for divorce in September. 

  • Searches for ‘how much does a divorce cost’ are up 59% compared to this time last year 


  • Searches for ‘divorce application’ are up 28%

  • Searches for ‘divorce lawyers near me’ are up a huge 417% 

Daniel Bennett, Director and Head of Family Department at Whitehead Monckton, said: “It is unclear why searches for ‘divorce’ have dropped over the last year. 

“It may be a function of COVID but then questions relating to the timing for divorces increased which would seem to indicate that people still want information about divorcing.
“It can generally take four to six months to get a divorce but this depends upon how quickly the two people deal with documents and how fast the court does too. 

“If the two people work together to file the papers quickly it can cost very little however costs increase if one person doesn’t agree to divorce or tries to throw a spanner in the works.

“The law is going to change to a ‘no fault’ version soon, but at present, if you haven’t been separated for two years, you have to use the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

“If you have been separated for two years, you can use this if the other person agrees, or five years if they don’t, and desertion if you have been abandoned for more than two years.” 

So how can people file for divorce? 

Daniel adds:“People can file themselves online and by post, or use a solicitor to do this.

  • It is always a good idea to use a solicitor who can check that you have completed the documents correctly;
  • You also need to ensure you have met the correct criteria for divorce to save time and that your reasons are sound and fit your circumstances;
  • People often need a solicitor to ensure their spouse complies with their responsibilities or to arrange personal service of papers;
  • The process is changing in September to force solicitors to issue divorces only;

“There are currently enormous delays in processing divorces on paper through the regional divorce centres set up for the purpose, which makes it all the more important to get the details right.

“Lawyers, like myself, are here to guide you through a process that is now more complicated than ever!”