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Divorce Statistics That May Surprise You

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a report detailing statistics on marriage and divorce trends in the United States.

Divorces in this country are very common.  In fact, a divorce in this country occurs every 10-13 seconds. While people may be aware how common divorce is in this country, you may be surprised about facts surrounding divorce not commonly known.  Each of these facts contributes to the overall divorce rate.

Increases in Divorce Over Age 50

Between 1990 and 2009 the divorce rate for spouses over age 50 doubled according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research.  Many reasons contribute to this situation.  The size of the population over 50 has increased dramatically.  Individuals who have been remarried are 2.5 times more likely to go through a divorce.  Finally, recent trends include people tending to marry at a later age, which may also contribute to spouses getting divorced at a later age.

25% of divorces in the United States are now among spouses over the age of 50.

Marriage Versus Cohabitation

Couples that live together without marriage are less likely to stay together than couples that get married.  The likelihood of a marriage ending in divorce in the first five years is 20%.  The probability of a cohabitation relationship ending in a breakup with five years is 49%.

Women Are Happier After a Divorce

Women initiate 66% of divorces.  The availability of child custody may contribute to a willingness to consider divorce.  Additionally, spousal abuse contributes to women initiated divorces.  A woman is more likely to start a divorce when her social group supports her decision to divorce.  Additionally, women are more likely to divorce when economically independent.  A study by the Kingston University of London found women are more content for up to five years after a divorce.

The Divorce Rate in the United States is Decreasing

In the past few decades, the divorce rate in this country has been declining.  The number of people getting married in this country has also declined, and therefore less people are getting divorced.

Children Often View Divorce as a Solution to Marital Difficulties

A study has shown that 70% of children in families with divorced parents view divorce as an answer to marital problems.  Only 40% of children with married parents view divorce as a solution to marital issues

Age, Education, Religion and Place of Residence Impact the Likelihood of Divorce

Individuals living on the west coast have higher divorce rates than individuals living on the east coast.  Individuals who marry between are 20 and 25 have the highest divorce rate.  Couples in the 20 to25 age range are almost twice as likely to get divorced as those aged 25 to 29 years old. Nevada has the highest divorce rate at 9.1 per 1000 population.  Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate at 2.1 per 1000 population.

Age 32 also appears to be a tipping point.  If you have not married by age 32, your likelihood of divorce begins to increase.

Adults that are non-college educated are 20% more likely to get divorced in the first 10 years of marriage that college-educated couples.  In addition, lower-income marriages tend to be less stable.

Statistics show that Christian couples have the same divorce rate as the nationwide average.  Interestingly, Atheists have a lower divorce rate than Christians.

Money problems can be hard on a marriage.  Employment status also impacts likelihood of divorce.  The divorce rate among employed males is 32%.  Among employed females, the divorce rate is 38%.  This compares to 42% of unemployed males and 43% of unemployed females.

In summary, individuals that were married after age 25, have a child after marriage, are college educated, and have a higher income are slightly less likely to experience a divorce.

Children’s Potential Income and Their Parents’ Marital Status

It appears a parents’ economic status influences a child’s future income.  A child of married parents with a high income is more likely to have a high income relative to a child of a single parent with a high income.

Human Biology

Science suggests there is a relationship between humans seeking lifelong monogamy and a biological need to be together just long enough to raise children through toddlerhood.  The average length of marriage prior to divorce in the United States is eight years.

Practice Does Not Make Perfect

The higher the number of marriages for an individual, the higher the likelihood a marriage will end in divorce.  Specifically, first marriages end in divorce 50% of the time.  Second marriages fail at a 67% failure.  Third marriages are even less successful, with a failure rate of 73%.

Smoking is Bad For Marriage

Statistics show that health differences can make divorce significantly more likely.  A marriage between a smoker and non-smoker increases the chance for divorce 75-91%.

Online Romance is Not Magical

Social media provides a way to stay connected with the world but social media can also cause issues in a marriage.  According to Fusion’s Millennial Poll, 77% of men and 88% of women age 18 to 34 believe online flirting is cheating.

Facebook activity has been an issue in 33% of divorce hearings since 2011.

When an online relationship results in marriage, there is a 75% failure rate in those marriages.

If You Find Yourself Considering a Divorce

Divorce in the United States is very common.  If you find yourself considering a divorce, or if your spouse has expressed an interest in divorce, you may feel overwhelmed.  A qualified, experienced divorce attorney on your side helps calm the waters.  At Fait & DiLima, we work to quickly return your focus to what matters most, your family, your work, your friends.  Many cases resolve in settlement.  Where settlement isn’t possible, we have the skills and experience necessary to litigate the issues.

Contact our office for a consultation today.

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