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Shocking Divorce Statistics You Should Know About

As a Denver area divorce attorney, I’ve often heard the commonly cited statistic that nearly half of all first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, but the many factors that go into this number are far less well known. Looking at more specific numbers across demographics paints a much more nuanced picture of divorce trends.

Divorce Trends in the United States

The divorce rate has steadily been dropping in the U.S. since 1996 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that more people are choosing not to get married, or are delaying marriage until a later, more mature age. Still, divorces are occurring at a rate of roughly one every 36 seconds, amounting to 2,400 divorces per day, or 876,000 per year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

When you break down the divorce rate by number of marriages:

  • 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce
  • 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce
  • 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce

The average length of a marriage ending in divorce is about eight years, with the average age of divorcees at approximately 30 years old.

Statistics Involving Divorce & Children

Half of American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage, and sadly, half of these children will also witness the breakdown of a second marriage. Forty-three percent of children in America are currently being raised without their fathers, and 28 percent of children are living with a divorced parent with an income below the poverty line.

More Surprising Facts

While most people may assume that living together is an effective “trial run” for compatibility before a marriage, it can actually increase the likelihood of divorce by as much as 40 percent. Statistics also suggest that people who wait to marry until they are over the age of 25 are 24 percent less likely to have their relationship end in divorce.

Other interesting statistics include:

  • Individuals who attended college are 13 percent less likely to divorce
  • Individuals with happily married parents are 14 percent less likely to divorce
  • Among religious groups, Baptists have the highest rate of divorce (29 percent) versus atheists/agnostics, who have a 21 percent rate of divorce
  • Voter data shows that divorce rates in “red” states are higher than in “blues” states

Divorce statistics can highlight aspects of divorce that follow unexpected trends. Though national and state statistics may differ in terms of specifics, I can only assume that similar trends exist in Colorado. I can also assume that statistics related to Arapahoe County divorce might look different from those in Denver. When looked at in a broad based sense, these statistics show that there may be inherent milestones which, when reached, decrease the likelihood of divorce. Conversely, when looking at a second or third marriage, one might consider a premarital agreement. Whatever your case may look like, if you are considering a dissolution of marriage, we invite you to contact the Denver divorce lawyers at Plog & Stein, P.C. Request an initial appointment by emailing our firm, or by calling us at (303) 781-0322. Our attorneys are ready assist you in moving on to the next chapter of your life with dignity, peace of mind, and the best possible financial outcome.

Author Photo

Stephen Plog, co-founder of Plog & Stein, P.C. in 1999, is a dedicated family law attorney with almost two decades of expertise in Denver. Focused exclusively on family law since 2001, he excels in both intricate legal writing and courtroom litigation, having navigated cases in all Denver metropolitan area District Courts. Steve’s comprehensive background, including a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law, underscores his commitment to providing insightful and personalized representation in family law matters.