Lisa Levis — Divorce statistics indicate the present status of marriage as well as divorce in the U.S. People in the society who take keen interest in family and the condition of marriage as well as social welfare wish to know the recent divorce trends. Divorce statistics also acts as a guide for people seeking more information on divorce and those affected due to divorce.
Divorce statistics indicate that in the last couple of decades, the number of married persons in the U.S. has significantly dropped down. The percentage of married people in U.S. was lower than 60% in 2002 compared to 72% in 1970.
The reason for the failure for 80% of the marriages is “irreconcilable differences” among couples. The chances of the first marriage ending in a divorce vary. According to the divorce statistics, 20% of first marriages fail after 5 years, 33% after 10 years whereas 43% end in divorce after 15 years.
There are several factors that account for divorce for a certain population, and hence it becomes quite difficult to generalize the factors that influence these statistics for divorce.
Certain characteristic features of married individuals affect the statistics of divorce cases. For instance, in 2002, around 24% of individuals who married above 25 years of age opted for a divorce, while 40% of individuals who married when they were less than 25 years of age got divorced.
It is also observed from the divorce statistics that individuals whose parents stay together or remain married are less likely to divorce. There is a 14% greater chance in such couples of staying married themselves as compared to individuals whose parents are separated.
According to statistics, women usually have a greater chance of getting physical as well as the legal custody of their children post divorce. Statistics reveal that around 23% of all the households in the U.S. are being managed by single mothers. Less than 5% are managed by single fathers. Also, the wife is likely to enjoy 72% of time custody, whereas the husband gets only 9% of the time custody, and 16% of the time custody is given to both the parents.
There are certain other factors that influence divorce statistics. They are listed below:
- Religion: When a married couple belongs to the same religion, the spiritual bond that they share tends to hold them together and they are less likely to go in for a divorce as compared to couples who belong to different religions.
- Parents still together: In general young married individuals who have their parents still married and together tend to have marriages that last, than couples whose parents are separated or divorced. This holds true because of the simple fact that such individuals tend to follow the same approach as their parents on resolving conflicts and staying together to save the marriage.
- Children: On an average, it has observed that couples who have children tend to stay married longer. Children act as a stabilizing factor in a relationship when going through a rough phase.
- Salary: Financial stress can be one of the major contributing factors for a couple to go for divorce. Sociologists have identified a level of household salary beyond which the financial stress will reduce. This level of comfort stands at $50,000. This may not be huge salary for some; but having income lesser than that gives way to a lot of stress and conflicts that continually ruin your personal relationships.
- Age at the time of marriage: When the couple is too young (less than age 25) while tying the knot, chances of the marriage ending in divorce are quite high.
- Education: The divorce statistics also reveal that couples who are dropouts from high school have a significantly higher rate of divorce as compared to those who have completed at least some higher education.
About the Author
Lisa Levis is a freelancer who has an expert knowledge on the legal matters regarding divorce and divorce statistics.