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Divorce Rate Continues to Decline - What's Going On?

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 12-Jul-2012

The rate of divorce continues to fall and this year the divorce rate hit a forty year low. Though the media has sensationalized celebrity divorces and we seem to personally know more people who are divorced, the overall divorce percentage has actually fallen.

During the 1970's the divorce rate peaked. States across the country legally permitted uncontested divorces, allowing for divorces to become easier and more common. Before simple, no-fault, uncontested divorces were allowed, one party had to be at fault for a serious offense, such as a felony or adultery.

Scholars and researchers have cited different reasons for the decline of divorce. At the top of the list is that fewer couples are getting married. More people are willing to cohabitate rather than take the marriage plunge. Current estimates demonstrate that less than fifty percent of households in the U.S. consist of married couples.

Statistics for couples who cohabitate are even worse than those who get married and then get an uncontested divorced. Couples who live together are less stable than married couples and fall apart two to five times more often than married couples. Frequently people who live together find it a low-risk commitment and economically advantageous, but also find it easier and quicker to leave.

Couples are also waiting and getting married later in life. Women are focusing on their careers and climbing the professional ladder instead of getting married. For many females raising a family has become a priority only after establishing themselves in their respective career fields. The average age for women to marry is now thirty years old. They are more mature when getting married and are more able to handle married life. this translates into fewer uncontested divorces.

Added to the list of reasons why the divorce rate is lower is the impact of the two wage-earner household. Couples with two incomes are starting off on a stronger financial foundation leaving fewer possibilities for them to endure economic hardships (creating a financial safety net); financial strain can quickly erode a marriage and is one of the top reasons married couples get uncontested divorces. Also, with dual earners in the marriage, a sense of equality is created in sharing martial responsibilities, such as household chores or driving the children to activities.

The recession in the economy has also been a major player in couples staying together. States which have higher unemployment rates tend to have lower divorce rates. Also, couples frequently believe that a divorce will be costly and forgo the dissolution of the marriage due to the perceived expenses.

With Cairns Law Office you can have an affordable uncontested divorce. Contact Attorney James Cairns for a free initial consultation at 888.863.9115. For an immediate free virtual consultation, visit our Divorce Wizard. The DIVORCE WIZARD will analyze and qualify your case for an online Pennsylvania divorce, calculate your legal fees, and let you file your case immediately. It's just like sitting in our office for a free consultation.