Archive for the 'Marriage Statistics' Category

January 6th, 2015

Is There a Surge in January Divorces?

With an influx of divorces filed on the first Monday of the month, January is arguably the most popular month to file for divorce.

January 5 has been unofficially dubbed “Divorce Day” in England, and Americans are seeing the same increase in January divorce filings after the holiday season.

“The surge happens on Divorce Monday,” James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, tells MarketWatch. “We see a significant increase in people seeking out divorce advice and, ultimately, filing. The number of filings is one-third more than normal. That begins in January and probably goes into early March.”

Currently 1 in 5 U.K. couples plan to divorce after the holidays, according to a recent survey conducted by legal firm Irwin Mitchell. So far this month, divorce filings are up 27 percent, states the report.

McClaren says that many couples are hesitant to split up and disrupt their families during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year’s. Additionally, people wait until January to file for divorce due to court closures during the holiday season.

“Those things are very difficult to arrange when there’s only three weeks of court time available,” McClaren states. “You do not want to file a divorce case and be faced with the inability to get into court.”

As per Boston psychotherapist Abby Rodman, many couples feel expectation about the end of the year holidays.

“You convince yourself that it’s only right to give your kids one more holiday season with their family intact, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” says Rodman.

Coincidentally, dating website reported January 4 to have the highest amount of activity for online dating traffic—which peaked at 8:52pm Eastern Time.

The company typically sees a 38 percent increase in new client registrations between December and January.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

September 5th, 2013

Longer Deployments Lead to Higher Rates of Divorce Among Veterans


Lengthier deployments, which have become the norm in the U.S. military thanks to prolonged excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq, increase the risk of divorce among service members, according to a report from the Huffington Post.

Sources say the U.S. Department of Justice asked the RAND Corporation to study the impact of longer deployments, and the researchers discovered, perhaps not surprisingly, that longer stints overseas lead to higher rates of divorce.

And the study was certainly comprehensive. The researchers pulled information on more than 462,000 enlisted service members who became married while on active duty in the military between March 1999 and June 2008, according to reports.

Researchers also discovered an interesting relationship between the success of marriages that were sealed before and after September 11, 2001, the date of several terrorist attacks on American soil that took thousands of lives.

The data revealed that couples who married before September 11, 2001, were 28 percent more likely file for divorce within three years of saying their vows if one or both of the partners served in Afghanistan or Iraq for more than a year.

On the other hand, couples who married after the attacks on September 11 had a much lower divorce rate. Sources believe this was due in part to the maturity of couples who married after the terrorist attacks, and their better preparedness for the difficulties of war.

But aside from the interesting link between September 11 and divorce rates, regardless of the time of marriage or the date of deployment, married service members consistently divorce at higher rates when they serve overseas for longer periods of time, sources report.

Researchers believe that longer deployments place higher burdens on military couples, many of whom are in the early stages of their marriage. Unfortunately, several excursions on foreign soil have stretched the military’s resources in the past two decades, leading to longer deployments and more tension at home.

Interestingly, the study also found that female service members were more likely to seek a divorceafter deployment than their male counterparts, and that military members with children were less likely to file for divorce than their childless peers.

The news comes at a time when military members are calling a divorce attorney at record rates. According to the Department of Defense, the military divorce rate has been steadily increasing for the past ten years, and shows no signs of reversing course.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

June 6th, 2013

Study Says Online Dating Leads to Higher Marriage Satisfaction


With roughly one in three Americans now meeting their future spouses via online dating, researchers are starting to analyze the strength of these new relationships. And early results are somewhat surprising.

According to a recent study, couples who meet online are less likely to file for divorce than more traditional spouses, which certainly seems to defy cultural expectations.

According to a report from the Huffington Post, the new study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 35 percent of the study’s 20,000 respondents met their spouses online.

Within the group of people who had met their spouses online, roughly half met their partners through formal online dating sites, which have seen a dramatic rise in popularity over the past ten years. Other people met their spouses through chat rooms, e-mail, and social media sites, sources say.

And surprisingly, couples who meet online had a divorce rate of roughly 6 percent, which is less than the average divorce rate among more traditional couples, who separate at an 8 percent clip, according to sources.

According to the paper, meeting a spouse on the Internet “is, on average, associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction and lower rates of marital break-up than meeting a spouse through traditional (off-line) venues.”

And while this finding may seem counterintuitive, the authors of the study offered a few reasons for the satisfaction gap between the two kinds of relationships.

First, the researchers believe that potential partners may be more honest with each other when communicating online, sources say.

In addition, the pool of potential mates is much larger online than, say, in one’s neighborhood, which means that people who meet online are able to be more selective when finding a spouse.

Moreover, online dates may be more serious about finding a long term partner. “It is possible that individuals who met their spouse online may be different in personality, motivation to form a long-term marital relationship, or some other factor,” speculated the study’s lead author, John Cacioppo.

But before everyone in marriages with more traditional origins calls a divorce attorney, it should be noted that couples who meet in school, at social gatherings, or church have higher rates of satisfaction than couples who meet at a bar or in the office.

As Cacioppo observers, marital outcomes “are influenced by a variety of factors,” and where a person meets his or spouse is “only one contributing factor.”

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

April 12th, 2013

Nearly Half of American Couples Now Live Together Before Marriage


More young women are living with romantic partners before marriage than those who are living alone or with a spouse, according to a recent report on marriage statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The figures, which were gathered during the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth, were compiled through interviews with more than 12,000 women between 15 and 44, according to an MSNBC report.

According to the survey, 48 percent of American women are currently living with a partner who is not a spouse, which is a significant jump from the 35 percent of women who cohabitated in 1995.

In addition, couples are now less enthusiastic about waiting until marriage to move in with their spouse. In recent years, only 23 percent of women say they were married before living under the same roof with their spouse. This figure was as high as 39 percent as recently as 1995.

Interestingly, though, the relative percentage of women who were living alone was pretty consistent over the past 20 years, ranging from 27 to 29 percent every year.

Sources also note that cohabitation varied by education. A remarkable 70 percent of women who did not have a high school degree were living with a boyfriend, which was the largest percentage by a wide margin.

Older women are also more likely to have tried cohabiting with a romantic partner. Sources say 74 percent of women older than 30 had cohabitated, while only 55 percent of women had lived with a boyfriend before turning 25.

Moreover, women living with non-spouses are more likely to get pregnant, which may have helped raise the number child custody disputes. In 1995, only 15 percent of unmarried couples living together became pregnant, while that number rose to 19 percent in recent years.

And the effects of pregnancies have led to fewer marriages in modern relationships. In 1995, 32 percent of unwed pregnancies led to marriage, while only 19 percent of such pregnancies led to marriage in 2010.

The numbers support anecdotal findings about the shifting nature of modern relationships. As the cost of living continues to rise, and the economy sputters along, many partners find that living together simply makes more economic sense.

And as more Americans continue to delay the age at which they get married (sources say the average age of brides and grooms is at a historic high), they will likely continue to live with romantic partners before marriage at an increasing rate.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

December 28th, 2012

Oil Boomtown in Texas Logs Historic Increase in Divorce Rate


Before a recent oil boom, Borger, Texas, a modest-sized town in the Texas Panhandle, had a relatively unremarkable rate of divorce.

But a complex mix of factors have caused this sleepy town to experience the most dramatic rise in divorce in the United States for the last five years, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Sources say the percentage of adults filing for divorce in Borger, Texas, has doubled since 2007, according to statistics provided by the latest U.S. Census.

And while Borger’s marital troubles mirror a similar trend in the rest of the country, where 66 percent of American cities have seen a rise in the number of divorced adults since 2007, its divorce outbreak has been more substantial than any other city.

According to sources, 15.2 percent of adults in Borger have experienced a divorce, which is well above the national average of 10.9 percent.

Several factors have reportedly contributed to Borger’s booming divorce industry. First, a collapse in the price of agricultural goods has created a great deal of tension in a town that has historically relied on income from farming.

The farming collapse was caused by a record drought in 2011, which was the worst dry spell in the history of Texas, as well as a sinking economy.

The combination of the sinking economy and lowered farm revenues has created “a lot of anxiety,” according to one divorce law attorney interviewed by Bloomberg News, which often causes everyday life to get “really miserable at home.”

But the failure of agricultural isn’t the only economic factor that has helped inflate Borger’s divorce rate. A rise in the town’s energy industry has been equally culpable, according to local sources.

While Borger has seen a dramatic rise in the number of energy-related jobs, especially for its massive oil refinery, these jobs have “erratic” work schedules, which can lead to further disputes between married couples.

Moreover, sources note that the energy workers tend to have high rates of drug use, which has been another contributing factor in the dissolution of marriages in Borger.

Sadly, the economic uncertainty has helped boost the amount of violent crime in Borger, which had the seventh-highest rate of violent crime in Texas last year.

Last year, Borger suffered 89 violent crimes per 10,000 people, which is more than twice the rate of larger Texas cities like El Paso and Austin.

So while divorce is increasing at a rapid rate in this Texas town, the residents of Borger certainly have more pressing problems to address.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

November 19th, 2012

Study Finds that Divorce Rate Plummeted During Recent Recession


The national divorce rate fell sharply during the latest recession, but researchers say that financial troubles did not actually solve unhappy marriages, according to a recent report from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

While the national divorce rate has been slowly falling for several years, the rate of the slowdown “accelerated during this current recession,” according to Abdur Chowdhury, a Marquette professor who led the study.

Chowdhury also noted that the “drop was more significant than we have seen in previous recessions,” according to sources.

The study, which will be published in Applied Economics Letters early next year, found that the divorce rate in the United States fell to 16.9 per 1,000 married women in 2008, which was a significant drop from the rate of 17.5 divorces per 1,000 married women in 2007, sources say.

But just because people are filing for divorce at a lower rate than they were four years ago does not mean that troubled financial times improve the happiness of married couples.

On the contrary, the recession reduced the number of available jobs and reduced the value of married couples’ assets, which in turn may have dissuaded many married couples from seeking a divorce.

According to Chowdhury, when the economy is healthy, and jobs are plentiful, married couples may be less reluctant to part ways, which could explain the higher divorce rate during times of economic growth.

In fact, the data collected by the researchers showed that, over the past three decades, the rate of divorce tended to rise when the amount of disposable income available to the average American grew.

While researchers had heard “some anecdotal evidence” of this phenomenon during a recession, their study “shows statistically how economic crises impact marriage and family,” according to Chowdhury.

Of course, while Chowdhury may have unearthed a fascinating bit of truth about American divorces, not everyone is pleased with the news.

According to Cathy Johnston, a Minneapolis-based family therapist, couples who stay married for strictly financial reasons could be making a big mistake.

In particular, married couples with children can create a very “unhealthy” environment if they choose to stay together because they believe they can’t afford a divorce.

In some jurisdictions, people who cannot afford a typical divorce, and aren’t contesting any issues, may be able to waive their court costs in a divorce.

Moreover, many divorce filers find that the cost of a divorce is ultimately worth the peace of mind granted by a fresh start. Especially in the midst of uncertain economic times.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

October 10th, 2012

Divorce Rate is Higher Among Couples that Share Household Chores


A bold new study claims that the divorce rate is actually higher among couples who share household duties fairly equally, according to a bizarre report from NBC News.

The conventional wisdom, of course, claims that sharing household chores like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom creates a more egalitarian relationship that leads to a healthier marriage.

Norwegian researchers, however, recently discovered that divorce rates were actually higher for the roughly 25 percent of married couples who share household work equally.

Compared to this small minority of couples, the 71 percent of marriages in which the women did all or more of the housework, reported a much lower divorce rate.

In addition, the study discovered that the divorce rate was even higher for the 4 percent of marriages in which men did all or more of the housework, although researchers said the sample size was too small to draw any definitive conclusions about such marriages.

The study used data collected over the course of two years from thousands of Norwegian adults who agreed to help them find a link between marriage and household chores.

While the study reached concrete findings, the researchers have been quick to caution married couples against ignoring their chores.

Thomas Hansen, one of the researchers, said the study should not be interpreted to show a “causal effect,” or that household equality necessarily leads to divorce.

On the contrary, Hansen says the main point of the study was to observe that “there is little to indicate that gender equality at home protects against divorce, as many people think and as is typically maintained by scholars in the field.”

So, before couples who share household chores equally run to the nearest divorce attorney, the study should be viewed with a bit of perspective.

Sources note that the results could simply show that modern couples who share household work equally have more modern views on marriage, and are less squeamish about filing for divorce.

On the other hand, couples with more traditional views about marriage might have unequal household chore loads, but have a stronger belief that they should avoid seeking a divorce.

In addition, sources suggest that women in egalitarian households could have more financial independence, which might make divorce more palatable in the event of an unhappy marriage.

Regardless of the study’s results, couples should consider themselves warned: Sharing household chores does not necessarily lead to marital bliss.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

October 5th, 2012

Cold Feet Before Weddings May Help Predict Chances of Divorce


A recent study discovered that having cold feet before a wedding could increase your chances of later filing for divorce, according to a report this week from Yahoo News.

The study, which was led by Justin Lavner, a doctoral student in UCLA’s psychology department, said that “premarital doubts,” while often dismissed as irrelevant, are “common but not benign.”

In other words, serious doubts about the potential for long-lasting happiness in a marriage, which are often dismissed as a normal part of the marriage process, might portend future troubles for many couples.

According to Lavner, women who “had doubts about getting married before their wedding were two-and-a-half times more likely to divorce four years later than wives without these doubts.”

And, among couples who were still married after four years, spouses with pre-marital doubts “were significantly less satisfied with their marriage than those without doubts,” according to Lavner.

The study certainly unearthed interesting results, but some cautions should be made before people with doubts about their weddings run to judges to start the divorce process.

During the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology, researchers discovered that 47 percent of husbands and 38 percent of wives were “uncertain or hesitant about getting married.”

Of those people with hesitations or doubts, 19 percent of the wives and 14 percent of the husbands were divorced four years later.

These percentages were much higher than the divorce rates of people who did not experience real doubts before their weddings. Among this demographic, only 8 percent of wives and 9 percent of husbands filed for divorce within four years of getting married.

Remarkably, 36 percent of the couples interviewed by researchers reported having no doubts before their weddings. And only 6 percent of these couples were divorced after four years.

Of course, these results do not perfectly depict the state of American marriages. The study collected data from just 232 couples in Los Angeles during their first few months of marriage.

In addition, researchers tracked the progress of these couples every six months for four years. So the sample size is pretty small.

Lavner and his colleagues were also quick to note that doubts before a wedding don’t necessarily sell doom for the marriage.

According to one researcher, having doubts before a marriage can be healthy, as long as couples don’t ignore those doubts. Instead, couples should address lingering doubts before getting married, and have an open conversation about each partner’s reservations.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

August 10th, 2012

Census Reveals More and More Couples Choosing to Delay Marriage


The latest census revealed that more and more Americans are postponing marriage, or simply skipping matrimony altogether, according to a recent report from the Florida Times Union.

The latest marriage statistics reveal that, for the first time since such data has been recorded, married couples now account for less than half of American households.

Data from the Census Bureau shows that married couples only make up 48 percent of American households, while more than 25 percent of households in the United States are now occupied by people who live by themselves.

And while the divorce rate in the United States seems to have plateaued in recent years, the marriage rate continues to decline, as shifting social and cultural norms change the way young Americans feel about the tradition.

Of course, the news is not all bad for marriage. Some analysts even believe that the public image marriage may be experiencing a bit of a renaissance, even as fewer people choose to embrace it.

According to Heath Downs, a sociologist at Jacksonville University, recent studies show that “people actually think very highly of marriage as an institution” and that, from a broad perspective, Americans retain “very traditional views of marriage.”

But despite this general sense of optimism towards marriage, Downs says several different factors have led to the declining rate of marriage in the United States.

First, as more women enter the workplace, young females have become more financially independent, and do not feel any rush to join allegiances with a person with another income.

The shifting realities of the American workplace have led to more women focusing on their careers instead of building families. And this factor has helped increase the average age of a first marriage to 27 for women and 29 for men.

In addition, many romantic partners have simply chosen to live together without the approval of a court or a religious official.

In the last decade, the number of unmarried people living together increased by roughly 40 percent, according to sources.
And these trends show no signs of slowing, especially as the economy continues to sputter along at an anemic pace.

Sources say that women are less inclined to marry men who are unemployed, and recent employment figures reveal that this is the case for many American males.

So if the economy continues to struggle, and social norms continue on their current track, it wouldn’t be surprising if the 2020 census reveals an even sharper drop in the percentage of Americans who are married.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.

August 2nd, 2012

What Are Your Chances of Getting Divorced?

There isn’t a mathematical equation that allows you to calculate whether you’ll be divorced in the coming years. However, there are some factors that can increase your risk of getting a divorce. Here’s a look at 4 risk factors and what they mean.

Understanding Divorce Probability

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Couples who live together before getting married are more likely to file for divorce.

  • Possible reasons are that the couple:
    • May be hesitant about the relationship.
    • Don’t have a lot to gain from marriage.
    • May not stress the importance of marriage.
    • Might not work on the commitment to each other.
  • People who have lived with more than one partner are at a greater risk.
    • Women who have lived with multiple partners before their first marriage are 40% more likely to divorce.


  • Women in their first marriage who had some education after high school (but didn’t get a bachelor’s degree) have the highest rate for divorce compared to other education levels.
    • 23 divorces per 1,000 women
  • Women with no high school diploma = 14.4 divorces per 1,000 women
  • Women with college degrees = 14.2 divorces per 1,000 women
  • Intelligence may be a factor, as well. Probability of a divorce within 5 years:
    • IQ of 100 (below average) = 28%
    • IQ of 130 (above average) = 9%

Previous Marriages

If both people in the marriage have been previously married, the couple is 90% more likely to face divorce than if it had been the first marriage for both parties.

When comparing the marriage count, here are the divorce percentages:

  • 50% of first marriages
  • 67% of second marriages
  • 73% of third marriages

Why might this be the case?

  • People marry on the rebound.
  • Divorce is more likely the second or third time around because independent individuals are more protective of:
  • Their emotional well-being.
  • Their financial well-being.
  • Absence of common children in later marriages.
  • The family element isn’t as central.
  • Less need to preserve a family unit.
  • Children often serve as a stabilizing factor.

Financial Issues

  • It seems people with modest incomes have less stress and are less likely to divorce.
    • People with a $50,000 yearly income have a lower chance of getting divorced than those who make $25,000.
  • Couples who have a disagreement once a week about finances are 30% more likely to get divorced than couples who argue less about finances in a month.
  • Unequal earnings in the relationship can lead to unhappiness.
    • Sometimes, when women make more than their husbands, they might:
    • Feel angry about having to take care of the man.
    • Not feel as feminine.
  • As a result, respect can be lost.


These are only a handful of the reasons why couples get divorced. Many factors contribute to the decision, whether it’s based on social expectations, financial health, or any other source of stress or dissatisfaction.

Copyright © 2010 TotalDivorce, LLC. (as licensee). All rights reserved.