divorce confusion

This is the definitive guide to understanding the impact divorce can have on your life.

Here you’ll find all kinds of information, facts and bizarre stories about divorce. This page covers the gamut. Much of what you’ll find here is sobering. Most of it is thought-provoking. And some of it is even sadly funny. The breadth of data is a good reflection of the reality of divorce - one of the largest life changes you and your family can experience.

Divorce Facts

  1. There are 100 divorces every hour in the US. (source)
  2. In 2009, 30% of divorcing women had income between $25,000 and $49,999 while 33% of divorcing men had incomes of $75,000 or more. (source)
  3. The world's most expensive divorce was estimated at $2.5 Billion (US dollars). (source) (Although once the details of the settlement reached by Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev come to light theirs may be the most expensive.)
  4. In the US there are 9 community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. (source)
  5. Individuals who divorced their first spouse wait an average of 4 years before getting remarried. (source)
  6. First marriages that end in divorce usually last  about 8 years. (source)
  7. Second marriages that end in divorce usually last about 8 years. (source)
  8. Oklahoma is the first state to use federal funds to develop an initiative aimed at reducing divorce because of the financial burden to the state the high rate of divorce was producing. (source)
  9. Instead of divorce 15% of couples choose long-term separation (10+ years) because of financial reasons. (source)
  10. The Idaho Statesman (source) reports that the top 10 states in the US where divorce is the most amicable are
    1. Vermont
    2. Oklahoma
    3. Rhode Island
    4. Oregon
    5. Kansas
    6. Idaho
    7. Louisiana
    8. Delaware
    9. Ohio
    10. Texas
  11. The most contentious US states for divorce are (according to The Idaho Statesman source)
    1. Alabama
    2. Arkansas
    3. Colorado
    4. Connecticut
    5. Nevada
    6. New Hampshire
    7. Florida
    8. Wyoming
    9. Nebraska
    10. Tennessee
  12. 27% of people who had their parents living together when they were growing up and 43% of people who grew up in homes where one or both parents were absent divorce before their 10th anniversary. (source)
  13. According to a study The Barna Group published in 2008, 25% of adult Americans have gone through a divorce. (source)
  14. 57% of attorneys noticed a drop in divorce filings during the 2008 recession. (source)
  15. According to Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy, Third Edition, many divorced people are ambivalent or have mixed feelings about their divorce. (source)
  16. The 5 states with the highest divorce rates are Alaska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama. (source)
  17. Data from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey found the divorce rate on the Indian subcontinent to be the lowest in all Asia. (source)
  18. According to The Marriage Foundation second marriages are generally more successful than first primarily because these couples are older than those tying the knot for the first time. (source)
  19. Marriages where women are 2 or more years older than their husbands are 53% more likely to end in divorce than marriages where husbands are 3 or more years older or just a year younger than their wives. (source)
  20. Nevada has the highest divorce rate of all the states in the US at 14.2%. (source)
  21. In the US, women file for divorce twice as often as men. (source)
  22. Researchers at Ohio State University found that men are most likely to experience large weight gains after divorce. (source)
  23. According to Eurostat, in 2011 53% of marriages in the US, 48% in Canada, 47% in the UK and 43% in Australia end in divorce. (source)
  24. According to the US Census Bureau’s statistics (as of September 2015) North Dakota has the lowest divorce rate at 8.1% followed closely by New Jersey at 8.2%. (source)
  25. Women are far more likely than men to want a divorce due to emotional abuse, physical abuse, their spouse’s use of pornography and substance abuse problems. (source)
  26. In 2014 the divorce rate among both officer and enlisted military personnel was 3.1% which is the lowest level in 10 years and only slightly higher than the 2005 rate of 3%. (source)

Divorce Predictors

  1. Married couples where only one smokes are 75% - 91% more likely to divorce than when both are smokers. (source)
  2. Women who choose to be sexually active before age 16 are more likely to have their first marriage end in divorce. (source)
  3. People with close friends, family members or coworkers who divorce are nearly 150% more likely to get divorced. (source)
  4. Arguing about money is a top predictor of divorce, according to research published in 2013 by Sonya Britt at Kansas State University. (source)
  5. According to Holly Hein's Sexual Detours: Infidelity and Intimacy at the Crossroads (2000), 75% of people who marry partners from an affair eventually divorce. (source)
  6. Swedish researcher, Erika Sandow, has shown that Swedes who commute at least 45 minutes to get to work are 40% more likely to divorce. (source)
  7. In the US, couples who spend a lot of money on the marriage and engagement ring have higher divorce rates. (source)
  8. Spending 30 more minutes in family mealtimes per day is associated with 30% less chance of parental separation - but only if the TV is not on. (source)
  9. Renowned marriage experts Drs. John and Julie Gottman (source) have shown that these 8 characteristics of relationships are divorce predictors
    1. More negativity than positivity
    2. Escalation of negative affect (criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling)
    3. Emotional disengagement and withdrawal
    4. Failure of repair attempts
    5. Negative sentiment override (a tendency to interpret things negatively)
    6. Maintaining vigilance and physiological arousal (fight, flight or freeze response remains active)
    7. Chronic diffuse physiological arousal (regularly too stressed to connect with spouse)
    8. The failure of men to accept influence from their women
  10. Researchers from Radford University found that the top 5 jobs with the highest chance of divorce are dancers and choreographers at 43%, bartenders at 38%, massage therapists at 38%, gaming cage workers at 35% and extruding machine workers at 33%. ( source)
  11. The same Radford University researchers found that the top 5 jobs with the lowest rate of divorce are media and communication equipment workers (0.0%), agricultural engineers (1.8%), optometrists (4.0%), transit and railroad police (5.3%) and clergy (5.6%). (source)
  12. A bride with cold feet more than doubles the chances the couple will divorce. (source)
  13. Risk of divorce in first marriages decreases with the age of the couple, but only until the age of 32. Older couples marrying for the first time see an increase in their divorce risk of 5% per year after age 32. (source)
  14. If you have a daughter, you're nearly 5% more likely to divorce than if you have a son. (source)
  15. Parents who have a child diagnosed with ADHD are nearly 23% more likely to divorce before the child turns 8. (source)
  16. Two separate studies found that people who frown in photos are 5 times more likely to divorce than people who smile. (source)
  17. Couples whose first child is born before their 8-month anniversary are 24% more likely to divorce. (source)
  18. A survey conducted by Jennifer Schneider found that cybersex addiction was a major contributing factor to separation and divorce. (source)
  19. A Swiss study of US couples found that if the wife makes 60% or more of the family income, the risk of divorce is double that of couples where she doesn’t work at all. (source)
  20. According to Scott Stanley, Ph.D., from the University of Denver marrying at age 16 equates to a 90% chance of divorce. (source)
  21. 80% - 85% of fat people who meet and marry their spouse while they are fat and later have Bariatric surgeries, divorce their mate within 2 years of the surgery. (source)
  22. Divorce becomes more likely if one partner gains 20% or more in body weight during their marriage. (source)
  23. A recent diagnosis of testicular cancer increases the divorce probability by about 20%. This is the only form of cancer among men that led to a significant increase in divorce rate. (source)
  24. A recent diagnosis of cervical cancer skyrockets the probability of divorce by 40%. (source)
  25. Marriages in which the wife takes a long time to calm down after marital conflicts are more likely to end in divorce. (source)

Children and Divorce

  1. Children whose parents divorce are at least 40% more likely to get divorced than if their parents had stayed together. If their parents married others after divorcing, these children are 91% more likely to get divorced. (source)
  2. Female children of divorce are more likely to enter marriage with relatively lower commitment to, and confidence in, the future of those marriages, potentially raising their risk for divorce. (source)
  3. For the majority of kids who experience their parents’ divorce, the effects are modest and relatively short-lived. (source)
  4. Within 2 years of a separation, the majority of parents have regained their equilibrium, established polite but distant communication with their ex, and their children have adapted to the new living arrangements. (source)
  5. Most children report painful feelings about their parents’ divorce. A significant minority of them suffer extended and prolonged symptoms of distress due to their parents’ divorce. (source)
  6. Children of all ages are impacted by their parents’ divorce and respond in ways consistent with their developmental stage. (Yes, this does include adult children.) (source)
  7. Kids are smart and are sensitive to all parental conflict - even suppressed, polite hostility. Luckily, they’re also sensitive to the resolution of conflict. (source)
  8. Following their parents’ separation, children may regress, become depressed or anxious, appear more irritable, demanding and noncompliant, as well as have problems in social relationships and school performance. (source)
  9. Kids express distress differently than adults do, so they are typically more open to communication through books, workbooks, stories, play and drawings. (source)
  10. Most parents feel concerned about and unprepared for their children’s reactions to separation and divorce. (source)
  11. Joint physical custody works best when parents have a basic respect for each other, communicate clearly about their kids’ needs, can afford to live in the same school district and are able to have similar things at both homes so the kids aren’t burdened with carrying too many things between their homes. (source)
  12. Parents typically do their worst parenting during the divorce process which is exactly when their children especially need support, warmth and firm, consistent control. (source)
  13. Children cope with the separation and divorce of their parents only as well as their parents do because they take their lead from their parents. (source)
  14. The quality of time you spend with your kids post-separation and divorce is more important than the quantity of time. (source)
  15. Because each parent brings unique qualities, values and life-experiences to their relationship with each of their children, children benefit from being involved with both of their parents. (source)
  16. Regardless of whether they live with their parents in one home or two, children benefit by both of their parents providing warmth and structure. (source)
  17. Kids benefit from regular communication between their separated or divorced parents that eases the exchange of information regarding the kids. (source)
  18. Divorced parents can help their children adapt by strengthening their own support systems, developing a non-adversarial co-parenting relationship and maintaining (or creating) high-quality relationships with each of their children. (source)
  19. Without appropriate intervention, children of divorce experience less growth in academic test scores. (source)
  20. The older the children, the greater the negative effect their parent’s divorce has on the children’s academic achievement. (source)
  21. Divorce increases the risk that kids will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems, but the great majority of kids do not develop serious behavioral or emotional problems. (source)
  22. Many children who are resilient in the face of their parents’ divorce still report painful memories and continuing worries about divorce, their parents’ relationship with each other, and their relationship with their parents. (source)
  23. Research published in 2000, shows that 73% of young adults from divorced families believe they’d be a different person if their parents’ hadn’t divorced. HOWEVER, the data doesn’t say that they believed they’d be better - just different. (source)
  24. According to research at University of Alberta, children whose parents divorce are more likely to drop out of school. (source)

Believe It Or Not

  1. In Italy, a 99-year-old man divorced his 96-year-old wife after 77 years of marriage because he discovered an affair she had in the 1940s. (source)
  2. Ronald Reagan is the only US president to be elected after being divorced. (source)
  3. The youngest girl to ever be divorced was 8 years old and lived in Saudi Arabia. (source)
  4. Einstein's Nobel Prize money went to his ex-wife as a divorce settlement. (source)
  5. The Philippines is the last country in the world (besides Vatican City) where divorce is illegal, but the country does allow for legal separation, annulment and marriage "voids". (source)
  6. In 2007 a Bosnian couple filed for divorce after discovering they were having an online affair with each other. (source)
  7. In 2014, WhatsApp was cited in nearly half of all Italian divorce proceedings. (source)
  8. in 2011, 1/3 of all divorce filings in the US contained the word "facebook". (source)
  9. Mail-order marriages with brides from Russia are less likely to end in divorce than marriages overall in the US. (source)
  10. A German woman divorced her neat freak husband after 15 years of marriage because he rebuilt a wall in their home simply because it was dirty. (source)
  11. A Chinese man divorced his wife because she lied to him about her age. (source)
  12. A Chinese woman pursued a divorce because the family's pet bird started saying words such as "divorce", "I love you" and "be patient" after she returned home from a month-long visit to her parent's home. (source)
  13. A Russian woman divorced her husband because his penis extension broke during sex. (source)
  14. A judge ordered a French man to pay his ex-wife approximately $14,000 in damages for failing to have enough sex with her during their marriage. (source)
  15. A Nigerian woman divorced her husband for talking too much and not keeping family secrets. (source)
  16. A woman won $1.3 million from a lottery, hid it from her husband and immediately divorced him. When he found out about the winnings, he sued and was awarded 100% of the winnings. (source)
  17. A few hundred years ago there was a Turkish law allowing a woman to divorce her husband if he didn’t bring home a daily quota of coffee. (source)
  18. When Robert Lucas won the 1995 Nobel Prize in economic sciences, he was only awarded half of the prize money. His ex-wife had placed a clause in their 1988 divorce settlement stating that she would receive half the prize money if he won the prize in the following 7 years. (source)
  19. When Richard Brand divorced Katy Perry, he declined claiming half of the $44 million she earned during their marriage.  (source)
  20. Before the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, divorced women in the US were refused credit because they “were believed to be bad with money because they couldn’t keep a marriage under control.”  (source)
  21. Divorce in ancient Rome was extremely simple. The couple just needed to declare that they intended to no longer live together in front of 7 witnesses. (source)
  22. In ancient Egypt, if a man divorced his wife, he had to return her dowry and pay her a fine. If a woman of ancient Egypt divorced her husband, there was no fine. (source)
  23. Chaldea was a small Semitic nation that existed in the first half of the first millennium B.C. If a man wished to divorce his wife, he only needed to write a letter to her father saying “Thou are not my wife”. If ever the wife would have said “Thou are not my husband”, she would have been drowned immediately or as soon as a large enough body of water could be located. (source)
  24. The prize for the most-divorced celebrity goes to Zsa Zsa Gabor who has been divorced 7 times. (source)
  25. Britney Spears holds the record for the shortest celebrity marriage. The wedded bliss she shared with her childhood friend Jason Alexander lasted only 55 hours before it was annulled. (source)

Divorce Impacts Your Life In Many Ways

  1. To learn more about how divorce could impact your life, download “Contemplating Divorce? Here’s What You Need To Knowhere.

If you are contemplating divorce, it’s really important to make a smart decision. Your happiness depends on it as does the happiness of your family. And after reading through the information on this page, I’m sure you understand that many people make divorce worse than it has to be.

I’m here to help you make sure you don’t make your divorce decision any worse than it has to be. Schedule your reduced-cost 30-minute consultation today to determine the best steps you should take moving forward.

Additional Divorce Resources to Investigate

(Please note I do not endorse any of the attorneys listed below. I provide them to you simply as a starting point for your research.)

Family Law in Maryland

Family Law in Texas

Family Law in New York

Family Law in Ohio

Family Law in Texas