California divorce rates and facts

Divorce, Divorce settlement, Family Law

Going through a divorce is hard, regardless of how amicable the spouses are with one another. Even when it’s the best option for both of you, ending a marriage can feel like the end of an era and alters what you expected your future to look like. Given some time, however, you will adapt to your new circumstances. Mental health experts advise that remaining in an unhappy marriage, rather than choosing to end it, can be far more damaging over the long run.

Statistically, divorce rates continue to hover around 50% in the United States. Although there is a common perception that the California divorce rate is higher than the national average, according to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2018, the state of CA actually ranks lower than the country as a whole in divorce rates. 

Another trend that emerged from recent divorce studies found that disagreeing about finances on a regular basis, lacking a college education, when one or both spouses are alcoholics, and being in a low income bracket are all linked with a higher divorce rate.

By the numbers

Marriage and divorce statistics:

Many of us are under the impression that divorce rates have continually risen over the years, but the trend is actually downward. Between 1990 and 2016, divorce rates fell in the United States from 4.8 divorces per 1,000 population to 3.2. Other statistical findings on the topic, include:

  • 65% of marriages from the 1970’s and 1980’s lasted 15+ years
  • 70% of marriages from the 1990’s lasted 15+ years.
  • 60 to 70% of divorces are initiated by women
  • The highest percentage of divorce occurs within the first 8 years of marriage. 
  • Among college-educated people married in the early 2000’s, 11% were divorced by their 7th anniversary. The percentage increased to 17% for those without degrees.
  • Social media sites are mentioned in approximately 50% of pleadings in all U.S. divorce cases. 

Stats don’t tell the whole story

Trends and statistics represent averages, but they don’t reflect the people behind them. The team at JWB Family Law understand that every couple as well as every marriage is unique. We’ll help you explore the best option for your particular situation, whether that is a separation or dissolution of the marriage. You can read more about the difference between legal separation and divorce on our website.  

If you’re considering divorce, the matter is a highly personal one to you and we’ll work to help make your experience as smooth as we can. Whatever your reasons for divorce are, you deserve the support of an advocate by your side, looking out for your best interests. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our top divorce attorneys in San Diego, Temecula, or El Centro. We will work hard to resolve the matter with expediency and compassion.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriagechild and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.

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