Numbers Don’t Lie: Facts About Divorce in America


divorce statistics america

New statistics released confirm a few facts about divorce in America that reinforce evidence of trends that have been developing for several decades. Other statistics debunk some commonly-held beliefs that are, in fact, untrue. While it is true that half of all marriages end in divorce, it is not true that infidelity is the primary cause of divorce; actually, it is the fifth-most commonly cited reason for a breakup.

Here are some facts about divorce in America from various sources that may help you put your own situation in perspective:

  • 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce no matter how many times the parties have been married. However, the chances of a marriage ending in divorce go up sharply with each subsequent remarriage: only 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce, while 60 percent of second marriages and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
  • The top five reasons people give for divorce, in order of frequency, are: poor communication, finances, abuse, lack of attraction and infidelity.
  • Those who marry after the age of 25 are more likely to stay married, as are those whose parents are still married and those who went to college. Smokers, those with money problems and those who hang out with divorce people are more likely to end their marriages.
  • The states with the lowest divorce rates are: Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and North Dakota. The states with the highest rates are Nevada, Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon and Vermont.
  • Children from divorced families are more likely to drop out of school and have emotional problems than those from intact families. However, divorce itself may not lead to these problems; data is unclear as to whether the marital infighting or the divorce, or both, lead to lack of achievement or emotional problems in children.

What Should I Do If I Am Facing Divorce?

Sometimes, people’s marriages fail even when they want them to work and are willing to work on their problems. When this happens, it is important for these couples to seek legal advice and support as they face the breakdown of their marriage, particularly if there are children or large amounts of assets involved.

Contact the Men’s Legal Center to find out about your rights and how you can best protect yourself, your finances and your children during a divorce.

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