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.

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.

When you work with JWB Family Law, you can rest assured that your personal family situation and concerns are being handled by a team that has the specialization and expertise you need to bring your issues to resolution.


Connect With Us



San Diego Office
1620 Fifth Avenue, Suite 600
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619.234.6123

Temecula Office
43537 Ridge Park Dr, Suite 100
Temecula, CA 92590
Phone: 951.297.3871

El Centro Office
300 S Imperial Ave, #10
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: 760.460.4608


Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

A domestic violence restraining order is issued by the court and serves to protect someone from physical harm, continued mistreatment, or the threat of abuse. Such orders are often issued to family members or a member of the household. However, they can be filed...

Important Information on Child Custody

When it comes to family law, child custody is one of the most sensitive and emotionally charged issues. Deciding who will have legal and physical custody of a child can be challenging for everyone involved. It's a complicated process that requires careful...

What You Should Know About Military Retirement Pay

In a United States Supreme Court case, Hisquierdo v. Hisquierdo, the Court noted that federal employee deferred compensation benefits may be governed by federal law when applying conflicting state laws related to community property, so as to prevent “major damage” to...

The Link Between Domestic Violence and Child Custody

Domestic violence can include physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, and psychological actions. Other actions, such as threats or coercive behavior can also be considered domestic violence. Without a knowledgeable domestic violence attorney, it can sometimes be...

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In October of 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month was launched nationwide by the National Coalition for Domestic Violence to generate awareness for domestic violence issues and to connect individuals and organizations that work to combat domestic violence and to...

What Cat Ears Have to Do With Divorce

Quite a bit, as it turns out, and it has nothing to do with how you feel about felines. A study from researchers at the University of Washington shows divorce filings peak at two distinct times of the year – March and August....

FL-150 Forms – What you need to know

A frustrating but mandatory part of the divorce process in California is completing financial disclosure forms. One of these forms is the Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150), which requires both the Petitioner and Respondent to detail their earnings and spending. ...

Who gets inheritance money after a divorce?

Here are examples of community property and separate property:

Child custody schedule options and examples

When you are in a proceeding to decide how to share the custody and visitation of your children, many decisions must be made by you and the other parent on how you will co-parent your minor children. If you are unable to reach an agreement, the court will make a...

What’s worth fighting for in a divorce?

Here are examples of community property and separate property: