Societal views change over time, and our laws must evolve to accommodate new concerns, key issues, and current trends. This is especially true of divorce and family law, which have seen a great deal of change throughout the years, and which readily adapt to what individuals and families deem important. As such, looking back on statistics provides the opportunity to evaluate new perspectives and attitudes, and prepare individuals and attorneys alike to address them.
Below, we discuss some of the most important divorce statistics from the previous year:
- Shifting views on marriage – While marriage was once the pinnacle milestone of adulthood, and an institution of unquestionable importance, Americans today don’t have the same views about tying the knot as their predecessors did. In fact, more Americans, especially young adults and millennials, are waiting longer to get married than their parents. This is while cohabitation of unmarried couples increased, and when many Americans don’t view marriage as a requirement for having children together, according to a survey conducted by the legal service Avvo. Naturally, as views on marriage change, divorce will be viewed differently too.
- Divorce rates declined – Divorce rates hit their peak in the 1980s and 1990s, and have since steadily declined. In 2015, the U.S. CDC reports, divorce rates were the lowest in 35 years; and those numbers continued to fall into last year. This doesn’t mean that divorce law is on its way out, or that divorce lawyers are going out of business. If anything, more Americans have become aware of the need to work with experienced legal representation when they do decide to dissolve a marriage.
- Gray divorce rates are on the rise – As overall divorce rates decline, the numbers of older Americans choosing divorce is on the rise. According to Avvo, Americans ages 55 and older accounted for the largest percentage of first-time divorces of any age group, and the rate of divorces involving people 50 or older has roughly doubles since 1990. Because older adults have unique issues to address in their divorce cases, including retirement and property division, health issues, and more assets and property, their cases require skilled legal representation to protect their rights and interests.
- 1+ million children are impacted by divorce each year – Divorce is a personal matter between two spouses, but it is also a process that can impact all those within the family unit; especially children. As statistics show, over half of all divorce cases in the U.S. involve minor children, and many other family law cases involve unmarried parents who split up, initiate paternity actions, or have other custody and support issues to address. Divorces involving children require extra attention in matters related to child custody, support and visitation, and parenting plans. In any matter, the best interests of children should always be prioritized.
- More couples are choosing prenups – Divorce attorneys across the country have reported significant increases in the number of couples who seek prenuptial agreements prior to getting hitched, as well as more women initating the process. Driven by millennials who have finished their education and established meaningful careers, and older adults who have already been married and divorced, increases in prenuptial agreements show that despite their reputation for being exclusive to celebrities or the mega rich, prenups are a sensible way to protect important assets and one’s rights when entering into a major life decision.
At Schuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, LLC, our Boca Raton divorce attorneys see these trends and changing views in person, and handle them on a daily basis. Because we focus exclusively on divorce and family law, and stay apprised of current issues, we’re able to effectively tailor our representation to address clients’ unique concerns, situations, and goals – even in the most challenging cases. If you have questions about divorce or any other family law matter, our award-winning attorneys are available to help! Call (561) 336-6082 to request an initial consultation.