Tag Archives: divorce rate

How Will a Global Pandemic Affect Divorce Rates?

As many Americans face lockdowns with their spouses–and more quarreling in already tense relationships–they find themselves wondering if divorce is looming on the horizon. How do significant historical events affect the divorce rate? And what does this mean for us?

Divorce and 9/11

Sometimes, when things are uncertain, couples seek comfort with the familiar. One notable example is 9/11. Immediately after the terrorist attacks in New York City, the divorce rate dropped by 32%. The rate dropped in New York and the surrounding area, as well as in other large cities, like Los Angeles.

A similar divorce rate drop happened after the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. Couples simply chose to stay together rather than separate during a difficult time. However, the divorce decrease may not have lasted that long. While couples chose to stay together immediately following the event, the divorce rate eventually increased in the long term.

Divorce and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

One study of military families found an increase in the divorce rate for soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11. The divorce rate directly correlated to the amount of time the military spouse was deployed in a war zone. 

Couples that experienced deployment to war zones were 28% more likely to divorce within three years of marriage, compared with couples that experienced similar deployment in more peaceful times before 9/11.

The 2013 RAND Corporation study found that, after deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, couples faced the increased stress of being apart, as well as the stresses that can come when a military spouse returns to civilian life–like PTSD.

Divorce and Natural Disasters

Stress of all types can have an impact on the divorce rate. Studies have generally found that the stress of natural disasters drives couples apart. After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, for example, the divorce rate notoriously spiked. Divorce rates also increased after Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Sandy.

Divorce and COVID-19

The New York Times recently reported that, in China, where the novel coronavirus forced hundreds of millions of people into lockdown, the number of divorce applications surged in at least two Chinese provinces when restrictions were lifted.

So, how will coronavirus affect the divorce rate globally? Only time will tell. The global pandemic is unprecedented. While there have been other pandemics, this one comes at a unique time in American history where divorce is more accepted than earlier in history.

Reach Out to Our Team for Divorce Help

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we understand the major stresses that COVID-19 and the things that come with it–like social isolation and job loss–can put on a marriage. If you would like to seek legal counsel, our attorneys can help you achieve the best possible outcome. For a confidential consultation, call our Arlington office at 817-755-1852 or send us a message.

Sources: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/world/coronavirus-lockdown-relationships.html

https://www.rand.org/news/press/2013/09/03.html

https://slate.com/technology/2012/11/sandy-birth-divorce-and-marriage-rates-how-disasters-influence-families-and-relationships.html

Divorce Rates Are Dropping and Millennials Are the Reason

Back in the early 1980s, statistics said 50 percent, or even slightly more, of all U.S. marriages ended in divorce. That threshold – half of all marriages breaking down – deeply affected people. The number seemed to burrow its way into the American psyche. Even today, in the midst of a 35-year decline in divorce rates, many still believe that a majority of marriages disintegrate even though experts now say just 39 percent of marriages will end in divorce.

The declining divorce rate sounds like good news. Marriages must be getting stronger, right? It turns out that the reality is a little more complicated.

Divorce Statistics Can Be Deceiving

According to a paper published by University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen at the end of 2018, the divorce rate between 2008 and 2016 declined by 18 percent. But, Cohen says, the drop isn’t the result of people being happier and staying married longer. The data instead show that younger couples, specifically millennials, are approaching the entire idea of marriage much differently, and their approach is altering the divorce rate.

The study showed millennials are getting married less often. And you can’t get divorced if you never get married. “Fewer people are getting married,” Cohen says, “and those who do are the sort of people who are least likely to get divorced. The married population is getting older and more highly educated. Marriage is more and more an achievement of status, rather than something people do regardless of how they’re doing.”

Sociology professor Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University points out that the decline in divorce rates is most prominent among college graduates. That’s because college graduates tend to focus on their careers first, taking time to establish a relatively stable financial base for themselves before getting married. 

Cherlin also notes an important byproduct of this financially driven patience. By waiting, people also become older. “If you’re older, you’re more mature … making it less likely that you’ll get into arguments with your spouse” that are so severe as to threaten the marriage itself.

But the choice to postpone or even avoid marriage isn’t just seen among highly educated groups. Many poorer and less educated Americans are choosing to skip marriage as well. Cohabiting is on the rise, as is raising children while living together but opting not to get married. 

Legal Advice for Divorcing or Never-Married Individuals 

Are you facing divorce in Texas? Or perhaps you’re unmarried but you have children and need help with custody arrangements. Whatever your family law need, the lawyers at the Fort Worth office of The Schneider Law Firm are here to help. Call 817.755.1852 or contact us online.

Divorce Rate Sources:

https://time.com/5434949/divorce-rate-children-marriage-benefits/

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/article/Millennials-spur-a-drop-in-divorce-rates-13448396.php

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/09/millennials-divorce-baby-boomers/571282/

https://time.com/5405757/millennials-us-divorce-rate-decline/