The FINANCIAL -- There were 30,863 marriages and 5,850 divorces in Georgia in 2011,
according to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, Out of this
number, 17,625 marriages were registered in the towns and 13,238 - in
Tbilisi is the leading city in terms of the number of registered marriages.
The biggest number 7,895 was recorded in the capital city. Here is the statistic of marriages according to the regions:
Imereti - 5,058; Kvemo Kartli - 3,798; Samegrelo, upper Svaneti - 3,263; Adjara - 3,120; Kakheti - 2,355; Shida Kartli - 2,190; Samtskhe Javakheti - 1,247; Guria - 973; Mtskheta Mtianieti - 665; Racha-Lechkhumi and lower Svaneti - 272.
For the last six years the number of people getting married has been stably increasing. In 2005 the marriages of 18,141 couples were registered, in 2006 - 21,876, in 2007 - 25,925, in 2008 - 31,310, in 2009 - 31,319, and in 2010 - 31,464.
The divorce rate is less than the marriage rate in Georgia. In 2011, 5,850 couples divorced - 4,384 in the towns, and 1,466 in the villages. In Tbilisi there were 2,528 divorce cases; in Imereti - 825, Kvemo Kartli - 591; Adjara - 405; Kakheti - 402; Samegrelo, upper Svaneti - 368; Shida Kartli - 312; Guria - 132; Mtskheta Mtianieti - 116; Racha-Lechkhumi and lower Svaneti - 37.
As for the age groups, mostly women from 20 to 25 years old are marrying men from the 25-29 year old age group. The average age of people getting divorced in Georgia is under 20 years old vs. the 20 to 24 years old in America.
Out of 30,863 marriages, before the wedding 58,472 people were single, 2,887 people were divorced, 362 were widows or widowers, and 5 - unknown. As for citizenship, 58,751 Georgian citizens and 2,902 foreigners got married in 2011.
This is an official statistic but specialists say that the real number of divorces is much higher. The reason is that most separated couples don’t officially register their divorces. And only legally registered divorces are included in statistical data.
The highest crude divorce rates are recorded in Lithuania and Belgium (3.0 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants in 2010), ahead of the Czech Republic (2.9) according to Eurostat.
Divorce is the legal breakup of a marriage. Marriage agreements can make this process easier as an agreement can be formed between the couple before or after the wedding.
For supporting the marriage contracts in Georgia, notaries are coming up with different ideas such as offering couples a wedding signing ceremony. “As a result of new legislation, the right of marriage and divorce registration and issuance of relevant certificates is granted to notaries in parallel with the Civil Registry Agency. From now on couples are offered the chance to sign marriage contracts at the same time as they register their marriage,” said Nino Khoperia, Chairman of the Notary Chamber Georgia. “In addition, couples will have the opportunity to receive a ritual service while registering marriage in the notary bureau, as well as outside the notary. This change in legislation will increase the number of marriage contracts in Georgia. By the way, compared to previous years, the number of marriage contracts has increased in our notary office. Mostly marriage contracts are signed in cases when the fiancé or fiancée is foreign,” she added.
In Georgia only thirteen couples have formed marriage contracts in 2011 according to the statistics of the Notary Chamber Georgia. Most of the marriage contracts were signed in 2009. Sixteen marriage contracts were signed in 2009 and seven in 2010. As for this year’s data, only seven contracts have been signed.
Statistics show that more and more foreigners are willing to marry in Georgia. They choose Tbilisi N1 Konka and Sighnaghi matrimonial houses to register their marriages in. “337 couples registered their marriages in our office in 2011 even when one of the people was foreign,” said Inga Kobakhidze, the Director of Konka. “Citizens of the following countries: the USA, Greece, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain have expressed their desire to marry in Georgia,” she added.
The cost for services provided by Tbilisi N1 Konka matrimonial house is 150 GEL at the weekend and 90 GEL on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The tradition of marriage registration outside matrimonial houses is getting established in Georgia. Marriage registration is popular at restaurants, Tbilisi botanical garden, Krtsanisi Residence, Turtle Lake. The outdoor registration fee is 105 USD.
441 marriages were registered outside the matrimonial house in 2011 while only 55 were registered in 2006 when this service was provided for the first time.
“It is very common to register a marriage outside the official matrimonial houses. More and more couples are using this service nowadays,” said Kobakhidze. “Mostly couples are registering their marriages in restaurants where the ceremony is held with all the invited guests present. For instance the fee for registering a marriage outside the territorial office of the Civil Registry Agency is 170 GEL. In this particular case, the employee of the territorial office of the Civil Registry Agency goes to the place chosen by the couple and registers their application,” she added.