Divorce in America, A Fad, A Trend or An Epidemic?
We certainly don’t have the answer to that question, but The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that “Probably, 40 or possibly 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue.” If those statistics aren’t enough to grab your attention, we have pulled together some additional statistics and details on divorce that you could easily gather up yourself, if you had the time, were so inclined, or had a research assistant handy! If you are an optimist and live in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you are quite fortunate because the divorce ranking by state, has New Jersey at #40 and Pennsylvania at #48. In real numbers, that is roughly 22,000 divorces in NJ and 26,000 in PA in 2009, with a rising trend.
Statistics Related to Divorce:
State with the lowest divorce rate Massachusetts (2.4 per 1,000 population)
State with the highest divorce rate Nevada (9.1 per 1,000 population)
Percentage of US population that is divorced 10%
Mean age at first divorce For Males: 30.5 yrs. For Females: 29 yrs.
Median age at second divorce For Males: 39.3 yrs. For Females: 37 yrs.
Median number of years people wait to remarry after their first divorce For Males: 3.3 yrs. For Females: 3.1 yrs.
Average length of divorce proceedings 1 year.
The state of New Jersey ranks 40th in divorce rate (2.8 per 1,000 population)
The state of Pennsylvania ranks 48th in divorce rate (2.3 per 1,000 population)
* Source of this Divorce Statistics: Divorce Magazine
Age at marriage for those who Divorce in America
Age Women Men
Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7%
20 to 24 years old 36.6% 38.8%
25 to 29 years old 16.4% 22.3%
30 to 34 years old 8.5% 11.6%
35 to 39 years old 5.1% 6.5%
We don’t quite understand why the above chart ends at age 39 as we are fairly certain that men and women over age 39 are marrying and sometimes divorcing, unless that old saying, “with age comes wisdom” is entirely true.
This next chart, really emphasizes the importance of prenuptial agreements in these distressed marital times. The first marriage and divorce can be extremely complicated and it is not too difficult to understand that you decided against the prenup because you were certain that your life together would last forever, not to mention not wanting to insult your future spouse or their family. But come the second marriage if there was any wavering on the prenup the first time, surely it was a part of the second marriage and it definitely was a stipulation of the third marriage. Seriously, with the divorce rates being what they are, prenuptial agreements can no longer be an insult to your future partner and their family, they just make a great deal of sense given the current times.
Marriage Divorce Statistics (in percent)
First Marriage 45% to 50% marriages end in divorce
Second Marriage 60% to 67% marriages end in divorce
Third Marriage 70% to 73% marriages end in divorce
* Source of this Divorce Statistics: Jennifer Baker, Forest Institute of Professional Psychology,Springfield
Children are the most precious “assets” that come from a marriage. But far too often, the children are caught in the cross fire when separation and divorce become a reality. While separation and divorce are difficult for the couple involved, parents can ease children through the transition of divorce and can help themselves at the same time by developing and implementing what we call a “Parenting Plan”. Similar to a prenup prior to marriage, a Parenting Plan can and should be developed once the decision to separate and divorce is made. If at all possible, it is most ideal to have a Parenting Plan prior to telling the children about the imminent divorce. A Parenting Plan simply outlines the rolls and responsibilities of each parent and deals with topics such as visitation, after school activities, and other facets of child care that would be pertinent. This gives all parties, but especially the children, a sense of normalcy and an understanding of what the rolls of Mom and Dad will be even though the family unit will change from what it once was.
Children of Divorce Statistics According to Discovery Channel, couples with children have a slightly lower rate of divorce than childless couples. Sociologists also believe that childlessness is also a common cause of divorce. The absence of children leads to loneliness and weariness and even in the United States, at least 66 per cent of all divorced couples are childless.
Divorcing Couples Divorce Rate Statistics (in percent)
Couples With Children 40%
Couples Without Children 66%
We would like to hear your thoughts on this blog and while we attempted to lighten up a very serious topic, our intention was to give you some perspective on the current trends and the steps that can be taken to protect yourself and your children.
The mindset that prenuptial agreements are for those who have money and assets is not true. You certainly want to protect any assets that you might be bringing into the marriage, but prenups can also deal with future assets that might be attained jointly and how those assets would be divided if a divorce was to occur. Although most people hardly ever enter into a marriage thinking that it will end, there are steps that can be taken before the marriage and soon after the decision to divorce that can help to alleviate some of the stress that comes with this life altering transition.