One of the more unfortunate marriage trend that has increased in recent decades is divorce, the act of dissolving a marriage. Divorce can come in many forms depending on the underlying religion of a country or the legal issues that have been debated over the centuries within countries. Almost every major world religion is against divorce, although many list acceptable reasons for divorce, though these can often be contradicted by other parts of the same religious text.

In the United Kingdom, a large amount of the laws surrounding divorce came about with Henry VIII, who overruled the religious leaders in England at that time in order to secure a divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

An alternative to divorce that is considered less sever both socially and legally is the act of annulment, which declares the marriage void and both parties may act as if they had never been married. Although annulment and divorce are commonplace across the western world, there are still certain countries where divorce is not permitted: the Vatican City, the Philippines, and the British Crown Dependency of Sark, although debates continue within these countries as to whether or not the law should be changed.

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