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A Quick Glance on Divorce Trends and What to Expect in the Future

As 2016 comes to a close, we thought it might be interesting to give you a quick look at the past results from recent divorce trends and what we could expect in the coming years.

A Change in National Marriage Rates

A research survey from the National Center for Family Research at Bowling Green State University has been conducted by a group in order to establish the US trends in divorce in 2015. They came up with a divorce rate representing the divorce per 1,000 married women aged 15 and older in a national sample.

The results of this period determine, the divorce rate was 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women, down from a rate of 17.6 in 2014. This is a significant decline from 1980, when this rate was 22.6 per 1,000 married women. This is a significant decline of 25 percent in 2015!

Divorce Trends
Sources: 1970-2000, National Center for Health Statistics ; 2008-2015, U.S Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 1-yr est

How Does the Rate of Marriage Factor into Divorce?

In addition to this report showing a significant decline in divorce, it also comments on the current state of marriage as well. Since 1980, the marriage rate has steadily declined from 61.4% of women 15 or older to only 31.9% in 2014.

According to sociologists, younger people are choosing to forego marriage at ages that their parents and grandparents would have entered matrimony. The current generation has preferred to either enter into adulthood prior to marriage or live with their partner without an official engagement, otherwise known as cohabitation.

One can assume that the reduced rate of marriage has contributed to the reduction in divorces because:

  • married couples are finding partners that more closely meet their adult needs before committing to marriage
  • long term relationships that would have ended in divorce if the couple were married are unaccounted for in sampling

However, in 2015 marriage rates showed signs of growth by increasing to 32.2 marriages per 1,000 women, up from 2014. This suggests that the idea of marriage from younger generations is making a "comeback." Additionally, the passing of Federal legislation regarding the approval of same-sex marriages may be a contributing influence to the increase.

Does Rate of Divorce Change from State to State?


During the study, researchers noticed that divorce and marriage rates vary depending on the State where the report was conducted. For example, the highest divorce rate was attributed to Washington, DC with an amount of 29.9 per 1,000 married women and the lowest rate of divorce is in Hawaii with 11.1.

How Does North Carolina Fair with Divorce and Marriage Rates?

Concerning the State of North Carolina, the divorce rate is under the national rate (16.9) with an average of 14.5. The state ranks 36th in the nation in divorce rates (36/51 State ranking) with Washington D.C. holding the first position.

The Results Are In

As the conclusion of 2016 looms near, we can draw a positive conclusion to marriage and divorce trends. Since the divorce rate in the United States is at its lowest level in more than 35 years and the marriage rate is the highest since 2009, it is believed the United States will continue to see a decrease in the divorce rate as well as a stabilization regarding the marriage rates.

Marriage is Not Always Sunshine and Fairy Tales

While the statistics offer a positive outlook on future marriages, do not forget that anything can happen over the course of a marriage. Many times, people's interests and emotions change and the unfortunate necessity of divorce becomes present. Don't let yourself become a victim of poor planning and decision making by trying to avoid hurt feelings. Any experienced Raleigh family lawyer will advise you to protect your assests with a pre-nuptial agreement for your marriage.

Let our team of Family and Divorce attorneys support you during your time of need. Our Raleigh attorney's know how to represent you and provide support that leads to a positive outcome. Contact us by phone 919-301-8843 or completing the form below to speak with an attorney about a pre/post-nuptial agreement or about divorce in general.

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