fk logo



Los Angeles Family Law Specialists

Steve Fernandez and Mark Karney are Certified Family Law Specialists* with over 50 years of combined experience.

Divorce is a legal proceeding in all 50 states. Couples do not get married with the intent of needing a divorce attorney; however, it does happen to many couples. While many people believe that over one-half of marriages end in divorce, it is worthwhile to look at the actual statistics before believing this common assumption about our divorce rate in this country.

Do One-Half of the Marriages in the United States End in Divorce?

The answer to that question depends on who you ask. Some sources state that 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Other sources claim that the divorce rate is not that easy to calculate.

Even the data used to calculate the divorce rate in the United States appears to be somewhat flawed. Reviewing the information from the Centers for Disease Control, the CDC data for marriage and divorce rates excludes data from numerous states. Therefore, the divorce rate could be higher or lower, depending on the data from the excluded states.

What the data does reveal is that the divorce rate in the United States has been decreasing over the past couple of decades. The divorce rate in 2018 was at a 40-year low, according to the Bowling Green State University.

In 2018, the divorce rate was 15.7 divorces per 1,000 married women. Arkansas had the highest divorce rate in 2018, with 25.9 divorces per 1,000 women. California ranked 38th in the country for divorces in 2018, with 13.8 divorces per 1,000 married women.

On the other hand, when you factor in the age of the person or other data, the divorce rate could be lower or higher. For example, some data indicate individuals in their late 20s have less than 50 percent chance of divorce. Additionally, their chance of remaining married is increasing.

Therefore, age, gender, education, children, financial situation, same-sex partner, and numerous other factors need to be considered when determining the divorce rate in America. Changing social norms and societal influences also impact the divorce rate.

It may be confusing, especially given the fact that many professionals and researchers disagree about the chance of divorce. One thing remains constant, and everyone seems to agree on that fact. The divorce rate is decreasing overall in the United States.

Why Do Couples Divorce?

The factors that lead to a divorce are as diverse as the couples that enter a family courtroom in California. Many studies have been conducted to determine why people get divorced.

Some common reasons given for divorce include:

  • Extramarital affairs or infidelity
  • Lack of commitment
  • Financial problems
  • Disagreements related to children
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Domestic violence and abuse
  • Growing apart
  • Constant arguing and conflict
  • Differing lifestyles and values

For some couples, the reason for divorce is glaringly obvious. A spouse cheats or is abusive. For other couples, they may simply grow apart and fall out of love.

Whatever the cause of divorce may be for a couple, another factor must be considered: the cost of the divorce.

The Cost of Divorce in California

The cost of a divorce can be expensive in financial terms and emotional terms. While it can be difficult to deal with the effects of divorce on children and spouses, dealing with the financial burden of divorce can also be overwhelming.

Fortunately for California couples, California is a no-fault state for divorces. A spouse does not need to prove that his or her partner is guilty of wrongdoing to obtain a divorce. The no-fault divorce process can reduce the cost of divorce in California for uncontested divorces.

Spousal wrongdoing may not be used as grounds for divorce in California, but it can be a factor used in other matters. For example, allegations of domestic abuse could impact custody and spousal support.

If you and your spouse disagree on the terms of your divorce, the cost of divorce can increase. Litigating matters related to property division, child support, custody, and spousal support can increase the cost of divorce. Mediation and negotiation can sometimes help resolve family law matters without the need for a long, costly trial.

Divorce may be unavoidable in your situation. Getting the facts about divorce law in California from a trusted legal advocate can make a difference in the outcome of your case.

Working with a Los Angeles Divorce Attorney

You are not a divorce statistic. You and your children are unique individuals who deserve to be treated with respect and compassion.

The Los Angeles family law attorneys of Fernandez & Karney understand you and your family may be going through a challenging period in your lives. We are here to help. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss your situation.