The Statistics of Various Types of Divorce!
Copyright © 2009 StraightDivorce.com
A 2006 survey put together by Divorce Magazine, questioned readers as to what had caused their divorces. A response from 1033 women and 481 men determined the causes. From the response, it was found that 22.8% of respondents claimed infidelity as the strongest factor, followed by communication problems at 21.6%, basic incompatibility at 18.2%, and emotional or physical abuse at 16.8%. The poll did note different results between men and women. 27.4% of men chose basic incompatibility as the strongest factor. Communication problems came in second at 24.5%, followed by infidelity at 19.1% and abuse at 11.4%. An earlier survey in 2004, found that women petitioned 93% of divorce cases, and very few were contested. Other statistics from the same survey showed that 53% of divorces were from marriages that had lasted ten to fifteen years, with 40% ending after 5 to 10 years. If a marriage survives more than 20 years it is unlikely that it will end in divorce.
Fault and No Fault Divorces
At one time, fault divorces were the only way to end a marriage. If people had differences, they would simply separate, but were prevented from legally remarrying. In the U.S. only New York State still requires fault for a divorce. All other states have adopted no-fault divorce statutes. To get a no fault divorce, one spouse must simply state a reason for the divorce that is recognized by the state. In most states, it’s enough to declare that the couple cannot get along. In some states, the couple must live apart for a period of months or years before they can obtain a no fault divorce. The most common reason for no-fault divorce is incompatibility, irreconcilable differences and irrevocable breakdown of the marriage. And while divorce rates continue to climb, no-fault divorce is blamed for divorce rates jumping even further. In fact, as of 2005, statistics showed that the number of divorces had doubled in the last three years alone. The increase is not entirely attributed to no-fault divorce, but no-fault divorces are credited with a large percentage of divorces. According to author, lawyer and sociologist, Thomas Marvell, on average, no fault divorce laws increased divorce by about 20 to 25%.
It is estimated that upwards of 95% of divorces in the US are uncontested. Uncontested divorce means that the two parties are able to come to an agreement, whether with or without lawyers and mediators in regard to property division, children and support issues. When the parties agree and they present the court with a fair and equitable agreement, approval of the divorce is almost always guaranteed. If the two parties cannot agree, they may ask the court to decide how to split property, deal with children, etc.
Founded on the fundamental belief that all people have value and deserve to be treated with respect, collaborative divorce encourages divorcing couples to part in a more dignified manner. Collaborative divorces are growing in popularity mostly because of its high success rate. In a collaborative divorce the parties negotiate an agreed resolution with the assistance of attorneys who are trained in the collaborative divorce process. Often there are financial specialists or divorce coaches involved that help the process move along more swiftly. In collaborative divorce, the parties make their own decisions based on their needs, but they receive full professional support. Once choosing the collaborative route, lawyers are disqualified from representing the parties in a contested legal proceeding. Statistics show that the average contested courtroom divorce costs approximately $50,000 or more whereas a collaborative divorce, even with two attorneys involved will be considerably less.
In divorce mediation, the process offers an alternative to traditional divorce litigation. In divorce mediation, a mediator facilitates the discussion between the two partners assisting with communication and providing information and suggestions that help resolve differences. By the time the mediation process ends, the separating couple has generally developed a customized agreement that can be submitted to the court. Sometimes a neutral attorney or attorney-mediator informs both parties of their rights, but does not provide advice to either party.
Some of the most recently available statistics on divorce in the United States include the following:
- In 2005, the divorce rate based on 1,000 individuals was 3.6, the lowest since 1970, and down from 4.2 in 2000 and from 4.7 in 1990
- In 2004, the state with the highest reported divorce rate was Nevada, at 6.4 (per 1,000). Arkansas was a close second, with a divorce rate of 6.3, followed by Wyoming at 5.3. The District of Columbia had the lowest reported divorce rate, at 1.7, followed by Massachusetts at 2.2 and Pennsylvania at 2.5.
- As of 2003, 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of custodial fathers were either separated or divorced.
- In 2002, 7.8 million Americans paid about $40 billion in child and/or spousal support (84% of the payers were male).