Did you know that divorce rates have been dropping since 1996?

Well, that’s according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Whether the divorce rate in America is actually rising, falling, or staying about the same, the whole subject usually evokes fear and angst.

Most married people don’t even want to discuss the topic, especially when looking at the indicators that may actually predict divorce.

A Northwest family law firm, McKinley-Irvin, conducted some research on divorce entitled, “Trends around Divorce in America”. With the added help of government statistics, they came up with more than a few unexpected findings.

Agree or disagree, here’s their list of likely predictors of divorce…

The average divorce costs between 15K and 20K.

65% of mothers don’t receive child support, post-divorce.

70% of children with divorced parents see divorce as a solution to marital problems.

Online affairs make-up approximately a third of all reasons why people divorce.

54% of men don’t believe that online affairs count as adultery.

You are more likely to divorce if you paid over $20,000 for your wedding, or if you didn’t graduate from college.

6% of couples end up remarrying after divorce.

Highest divorce rates? Alaska, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

The more times someone’s been married, the more likely they are to get another divorce.

The average length of a marriage in America, ending in divorce, is 8 years.

On average, people think about divorce for 2 years before taking action.

A couple is a third more likely to get a divorce if they have lived together before getting married.

You’re more prone to divorce if…

You don’t marry someone close to your age.

You use social media excessively.

You have a habit of rolling your eyes at your spouse.

You’re not dividing household chores.

You’re commuting 45 minutes or more to work.

Even more surprisingly…

Most people already know that around 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. The number is similarly high in many other developed nations.

When you break that down by number of marriages:

  • 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce.
  • 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
  • 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.

In America, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds. That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces a year!

People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry (if they remarry at all).

The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old.

79.6 percent of custodial mothers receive a support award, post-divorce, while only 29.6 percent of custodial fathers receive a support award.

46.9 percent of non-custodial mothers totally default on support, while only 26.9 percent of non-custodial fathers totally default on support.

About 1 percent of the total number of currently married same-sex couples gets divorced each year, in comparison to about 2 percent of married straight couples. (Note that the percent of couples that eventually get divorced is 50 percent, but only one or two percent get divorced in a particular year.)

If your parents are happily married, your risk of divorce decreases by 14 percent.

People who wait to marry until they are over the age of 25 are 24 percent less likely to get divorced.

Living together prior to getting married can increase the chance of getting divorced by as much as 40 percent.

If you’ve attended college, your risk of divorce decreases by 13 percent.

2008 voter data shows that “red” states (states that tend to vote Republican), have higher divorce rates than “blue” states (states that tend to vote Democrat).

Divorce & Children

The divorce rate among couples with children is 40 percent lower than couples without children.

43 percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers.

75 percent of children with divorced parents live with their mother.

28 percent of children living with a divorced parent live in a household with an income below the poverty line.

Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage. Of these children, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage.

You’re more prone to divorce if you have a daughter. (Hmm…)

Overall, people living in northeastern states have lower marriage and divorce rates. While those in southern states are more likely to get married, they also have higher divorce rates.

Celebrities & Divorce

Mel and Robyn Gibson’s divorce in 2009 is considered to be the largest celebrity divorce settlement, as Mel paid his ex $425 million.

The celebrity who has been married and divorced the most is actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, who has been married 9 times.

Britney Spears holds the record for shortest celebrity marriage; her union with friend Jason Alexander lasted only 55 hours before it was annulled.

Divorce & You

A very interesting and enlightening list of conclusions regarding divorce, don’t you think?

These facts and stats should provide some good food for thought, for those of you considering marriage, already in one, or for those seriously contemplating divorce.

At the very least, you’ll have some very juicy yet sobering facts to share with your family, friends, and lovers – that is, if they’re willing to listen!

Surprised by some of this information? I definitely was, and I’m a marriage counselor! Do you have any other statistics, facts or personal stories related to divorce that you’d be willing to share with me and my readers? Please leave your feedback in the comments section below. Love to hear from you, married or not!

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