For the last two decades, one third of all marriages in Iceland has ended in divorce reports the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV. Divorce usually occurs after 3 – 4 years of marriage while as break-ups are most common after less than two years of living together outside of wedlock. According to Statistics Iceland, in 2003, 1,300 couples living together broke up or divorced. 809 of those couples were under the age of 18.
RÚV reports that the impact divorce has on a person’s mental health is greatly underestimated; middle aged Icelandic men are the group most seriously affected, after the divorce they are susceptible to depression.
Salbjörg Bjarnadóttir, a psychiatric nurse at the Icelandic Directorate of Health, told RÚV that the extent of grief suffered during divorce is seriously underestimated, and she also points out that children have rights to associate with both parents and asked if the family could not enjoy time together even though two individuals can not live together.