Rising Divorce Rates in Morocco: For Every 100 Marriage Requests, 50 are...

Rising Divorce Rates in Morocco: For Every 100 Marriage Requests, 50 are Divorce Cases


Recent findings released by the Supreme Council of Judicial Power in Morocco have uncovered an alarming trend in the country’s divorce rates. Over the last five years, the country has witnessed an increasing proportion of divorce cases relative to marriage requests.

According to the report, for every 100 marriage documentation requests submitted in 2021, there were about 50 divorce cases, a ratio of 49.93%. This reflects a notable increase in divorce rates from 45% in 2017 to a peak of 55% in 2020, which has been largely attributed to a decline in marriage requests during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate dipped slightly to 51% in 2021, yet still maintained a high level.

The number of divorce cases hit an all-time high in 2021, with an estimated 131,309 cases reported. The most prevalent form of marriage dissolution was shikak divorce (divorce for marital discord), accounting for 71.51% of all cases. Following closely was consensual divorce at 20.93%, revocable divorce at 5.92%, and Khul’ divorce registering a minimal 0.08%.

Discord divorce, also known as “Shiqaq” divorce in Islamic law, refers to a divorce that can occur when there is an irreconcilable conflict or dispute between the spouses. In this case, a judge can issue a divorce if he perceives that the couple cannot live together in peace and harmony.

Khul’ divorce is a form of divorce in Islamic law that is initiated by the wife and usually involves her offering compensation, often financial or returning the marital gift (Mahr), to the husband for him to agree to the divorce. This type of divorce provides an opportunity for a woman to separate from her husband even if he is unwilling to grant a divorce.

The report suggested that discord divorce was the quickest method for couples seeking a marital dissolution, indicating an increased societal awareness of the Family Code and related judicial procedures. This trend reflects a shift in societal attitudes towards marriage and divorce, potentially pointing to broader social changes in Morocco’s future.