common trends in divorce

2021 Common Trends in Divorce in the United States That May Shock You

Divorce can be messy and is virtually always filled with emotion. Those emotions may include anger, frustration, bitterness, sadness, relief, and much, much more. Few people are neutral about getting a divorce. For this reason alone, it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side from the start. Your lawyer can help you through this highly emotional and volatile time and safeguard your future every step of the way.

To help answer some of your divorce questions, we have researched the details regarding the “why’s,” “who’s,” and “where’s” of divorce in the United States.

From the causes to demographic share, and etc. Here are the Latest Statistics of Divorce in the United States

Why Do Most Couples in the US Divorce?

According to the CDC, by the end of the first five years of marriage, 22 percent of couples have experienced some form of “marital disruption.” That number increases to 53 percent at the 20-year mark.

What makes a couple throw in the towel—the final straw, the line in the sand, the act that there is simply no coming back from?

I. Infidelity

According to, infidelity is one of the primary causes of divorce. While historically, this meant actual, physical affairs, in today’s digital world it can also include emotional affairs—one spouse connects with an old flame via Facebook causing the other to feel the marriage was betrayed.

II. Money

Money issues are another primary cause of divorce, although this can mean different things to different couples. Living in poverty is extremely stressful, leading to arguments, and, ultimately to divorce. Major differences in how money is spent or saved in a marriage can also cause the death of a marriage, regardless of the financial bracket. And, somewhat surprisingly, with more women in the workforce, and more women seeking higher education, out-earning male spouses can cause friction in the marriage.

III. Addictions & Illnesses

Addictions are another commonly cited reason for divorce, whether alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, or other addictions. As you might imagine, addictions can become one’s top priority, wreaking havoc on entire families. Unfortunately, illnesses are also a common reason for divorce. A cancer diagnosis, the death of a child, the pain of sickness can simply test the relationship to the point where it crumbles.

IV. Incompatibility

Finally, incompatibility is a major cause of divorce. When couples are in the first blush of love, they tend to think differences related to religion, children, jobs, living arrangements, and so on will just “iron themselves out.” Once married, all the things that were probably not even discussed prior to the marriage become major sticking points.

No matter why you are considering a divorce, our Meridian divorce lawyers can help you through the process efficiently. This will save you a considerable amount of time and money along the way.

Which States Have the Highest Divorce Rates?

According to World Population Review, as of 2020, the states with the highest divorce rates are:

  • Nevada (4.5 divorces per 1,000 people)
  • Oklahoma (4.1 divorces per 1,000 people)
  • Wyoming (4 divorces per 1,000 people)
  • Idaho (3.9 divorces per 1,000 people)
  • Kentucky (3.7 divorces per 1,000 people)

It is likely the divorce rate in Nevada is the highest because many couples marry hastily in Las Vegas—plus a divorce in Nevada can be finalized in as little as 10 days. The states with the lowest rate of divorce are Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Kansas.

Age Groups, Ethnic Groups, and Occupations with the Highest Divorce

The average marriage makes it to almost 8 years (“seven-year itch?”), and, in general, a couple is most likely to get divorced during the first two years of marriage, or between years 5-8. While women are more likely to stay in their first marriage a bit longer than men, men are more likely to stay in a subsequent marriage a little longer than women. Those divorcing today are more likely to be Baby Boomers (so-called “gray” divorce) and Gen X, with Millennial divorces decreasing. That being said, generally speaking, the younger a person is when they get married, the more likely they will divorce.

Ethnicity can be a predictor of divorce, with Asian Americans the least likely to divorce, followed by Spanish/Hispanic/Latino ethnicities. Caucasian Americans are in the middle, as far as likelihood of divorce, while Native Americans are statistically the most likely to divorce.

Does occupation affect whether a couple will divorce? Statistically speaking, it does. According to, jobs with the highest rate of divorce include:

  • Gaming managers
  • Bartenders
  • Flight attendants
  • Gaming service workers
  • Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders

The jobs with the lowest rate of divorce include:

  • Actuaries
  • Physical scientists
  • Medical and life scientists
  • Clergy
  • Software developers

While we can’t know all the reasons behind these statistics, machine operators and tenders typically receive fairly low pay, which is another factor that impacts divorce rates. As far as those with a low risk of divorce, consider that since actuaries make a living from minimizing risks, they likely did a thorough assessment of the pros and cons of marriage prior to taking the plunge!

Why are Divorces Increasing in the United States?

Divorces have certainly increased throughout the past 150 years. Society is more accepting of divorce and it is easier to obtain a divorce than it was a century ago. The rise in divorce over the past two or three decades may have more to do with a corresponding rise in domestic abuse, drug use, alcoholism, job loss. The rate of divorce actually hit a record low in 2019, at 14.9 per 1,000 people, but many expect it to rise after a year of the pandemic which caused more Americans to be without a job—and many without a home.

Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Divorce

Below are the top three most-asked questions regarding divorce in the United States:

1. What is No-Fault Divorce?

Historically, when a couple divorced, the spouse instigating the divorce had to claim “fault”—the reason for the divorce. The most common reasons were adultery, spousal abuse, a prison sentence, and insanity. Since those allegations had to be proven, getting a divorce took more time, effort, and money—and usually caused more hard feelings. No-fault divorces, based on “irreconcilable differences,” came into being in 1970 in the state of California. Today, all states offer some form of no-fault divorce, including Idaho. To learn more about no-fault divorces, contact our Meridian divorce lawyers today.

2. How Much Does a Divorce Cost?

The “average” cost of a divorce in the United States is about $15,000 although this number can vary significantly, based on how long the divorce takes, whether there are children involved, the location of the divorce, and whether experts (financial, child custody, appraisers, etc.) are required. Our Meridian divorce lawyer can meet with you to review your case. At that time, we can talk honestly and openly about how much your divorce might cost.

3. How Long Does a Divorce Take?

The time a divorce takes varies significantly from state to state and is also impacted by a number of factors. An uncontested divorce generally takes from six weeks to a year.

Divorce is something you certainly never want to go through on your own. When you have an experienced Meridian divorce lawyer, it is almost a given that your divorce will go much more smoothly and will be completed in a more timely manner than if you attempt to handle it on your own. Having a Meridian divorce attorney by your side ensures your rights and your future are fully protected.