The prominent role that divorce law plays in modern life long ago passed the point of being a cultural cliché. From a factual perspective, however, divorce may not work quite the way you'd expect. There are five ways divorce has changed or doesn't operate how you might anticipate.
1. That 50% Number
Few statistics are as ingrained in the larger cultural discussion about divorce law as the notion that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. On the face of it, this figure is roughly accurate, but there's more statistical bias in play than you might think. Only 41% of first marriages end in divorce. People who remarry that are pulling the number upward, as 60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
2. Divorce has Declined
In 1990, the divorce rate in the United States was about 4.75 people per 1,000. It ticked up slightly by 1992, but it declined significantly, reaching a rate of little more than 3.1 per 1,000 in 2015. In 2014, there were 813,862 divorces and annulments in the U.S.
Notably, the marriage rate has dropped from 72% in 1960 to around 50% today. These trends in both divorce and marriage rates have not been significantly influenced by the advent of gay marriage.
3. Judicial Combat
Most people are aware that divorce law has changed a lot over the years, but how much might surprise you. In some areas of medieval Europe, judicially sanctioned combat was considered an acceptable legal remedy if a couple had irreconcilable differences.
4. Children Deter Divorce
The image of a couple staying together for the kids appears to be a fairly accurate one, as it's estimated that couples with children are 40% less likely to divorce than those without. About 28% of children living with a divorced parent are in households below the poverty line, although it should be noted that the causal effect may have more to do with low incomes than divorce.
5. Age Matters
The age differential between partners significantly shifts the risk that a marriage might end in divorce. In traditionally heterosexual marriages where the woman is two or more years older than the husband, it is 53% more likely that a divorce will occur than in ones where the husband is three or more years older than the wife. Those who wait until after age 25 to get married are also 24% less likely to divorce.
For more information, contact a law office like Cooper Levenson Attorneys At Law.