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Heartbreak Neighbourhoods: Where in the UK do most people seek a divorce?

New data from Weightmans highlights the UK's 'heartbreak neighbourhoods', where couples are statistically more likely to get divorced.

The cost of living crisis and the post-New Year period has led to an increase in people seeking divorce, with searches for ‘how to get a divorce’ increasing by 45% in the last month across the UK (January 2024). From London to Manchester, every UK city and town will be impacted by this, but which of these locations are affected the most?

Using a combination of factors, Weightmans has analysed common search queries such as ‘how to get a divorce’, ‘divorce lawyers’ and ‘divorce’ per 100,000 people, across the most popular UK towns and cities to reveal the locations where people seek divorce the most.

Norwich is crowned the city where most people seek divorce in the UK.

Many people find the divorce process hard to navigate and use the internet as their first port of call, to either find a service (such as divorce lawyers) or gain more knowledge on the subject.

Below is a list of the top 40 UK towns and cities with the highest number of searches per 100,000 people, for the search terms ‘divorce lawyers’, ‘divorce’ and ‘how to get a divorce’.

Rank City Total searches per 100,000 people
1 Norwich 63
2 Huddersfield 49
2 Bristol 49
4 Ipswich 44
5 Peterborough 42
6 Coventry 41
7 Reading 40
7 Birmingham 40
9 Gloucester 39
10 Exeter 38
10 Swindon 38
12 Carlisle 37
13 Milton Keynes 35
14 Plymouth 34
14 Leicester 34
16 Bolton 32
16 Leeds 32
18 Newcastle 31
19 London 30
20 Poole 29
21 Swansea 28
21 Portsmouth 28
23 York 27
23 Southend on Sea 27
23 Dundee 27
23 Cambridge 27
27 Sheffield 26
28 Oxford 25
29 Northampton 24
29 Nottingham 24
29 Belfast 24
32 Edinburgh 23
32 Kingston upon Hull 23
32 Liverpool 23
35 Derby 19
36 Glasgow 17
36 Durham 17
36 Cardiff 17
39 Aberdeen 11
40 Manchester 9
  1. Norwich — 63 searches per 100,000

Taking the title as the city where most people seek divorce is Norwich, with 63 searches per 100,000 people, Norwich exhibits the highest search volume for divorce-related queries in the UK. This heightened interest may reflect a community more actively seeking information and support regarding divorce.

  1. Huddersfield and Bristol49 searches per 100,000 people

The second UK locations to feature on our list are Huddersfield and Bristol, the search volume for divorce-related queries stands at 49 searches per 100,000 people. This rate, while lower than Norwich, still indicates a significant level of interest in divorce-related information

  1. Ipswich — 44 searches per 100,000 people

Completing our top three is one of England’s oldest towns, Ipswich, which presents a slightly lower search volume for divorce-related queries, with 44 searches per 100,000 people - indicating divorce may still be on the minds of many Ipswich locals.

  1. Peterborough — 42 searches per 100,000 people

Not far behind Ipswich is The City of Peterborough, which has seen a notable rate of searches on the topic of divorce, with 42 searches per 100,000 people. This figure indicates a significant interest or concern among the residents regarding divorce matters.

  1. Coventry — 41 searches per 100,000

Rounding off our top five is Coventry, where there has been a similarly high level of interest in divorce-related topics, with 41 searches per 100,000 people across the city. This statistic, while slightly lower than that of Peterborough, still represents a substantial amount of activity around divorce inquiries.

Expert Advice on How To Navigate a Divorce and Protect Your Future

When considering a divorce, it's important to approach the process with both practicality and emotional awareness. Here's what the experts say:

  1. Legal and Financial Preparation: It's essential to gather and organise documents, including past tax returns, employment details, and information about your assets and income. This comprehensive preparation will help your understanding when considering the financial implications of a divorce.
  2. Emotional and Mental Preparedness: Building a support system is vital as it's important to prepare yourself emotionally for the challenges ahead. Consider speaking with a therapist to navigate the emotional turmoil and ensure you have a solid support network comprising family, friends, and professional counsellors.
  3. Child-Centred Considerations: If children are involved, prioritise their well-being. This includes making arrangements for their care, understanding child support obligations, and considering their emotional needs throughout the process. It's vital to have clear, age-appropriate conversations with children about the situation.
  4. Practical Measures for Privacy and Security: Take steps to safeguard your privacy and information security. This can include setting up a new email account, changing passwords, and ensuring your mail and sensitive documents are secure and inaccessible to your spouse.
  5. Long-Term Planning and Adaptation: Start thinking about your post-divorce life early in the process. This includes financial planning, considering living arrangements, possible career or job changes if necessary, and setting realistic expectations for life after divorce. Preparing for these changes early can make the transition smoother.

Antony Ball, Partner at Weightmans has commented:

“Weightmans’ research analyses divorce-related search queries across the UK and highlights a significant volume of searches suggesting a growing demand for legal guidance and support in some areas of the country.

Each divorce case is as unique as the individuals involved. It's crucial to approach these matters with a comprehensive understanding of both the legal framework and the personal circumstances at play. In our practice, we see a wide range of reasons and situations leading to divorce, and it's our role to provide nuanced advice and support that respects the complexities of each case.

Whether it's negotiating financial settlements or addressing child arrangements, the aim is always to reach a resolution that minimises conflict and considers the well-being of all parties, especially children."


We compiled a list of UK towns and cities based on YouGov's most popular UK towns and cities.

We then used Semrush to find search volumes for common divorce-related search queries: ‘how to get a divorce’, ‘divorce lawyers’ and ‘divorce’ for every town and city on our list.

We normalised the data to account for population differences across locations. This involved calculating the total number of searches per 100,000 people in each location.

We then ranked the cities based on the normalised search volumes.

If you need support on a family law issue, contact our family law solicitors.

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