Everything from fashion to food goes through trends and divorce is no exception. Research and analysis regarding marriage in America is included in a report entitled “The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America” from the University of Virginia National Marriage Project. This report and other research on the topic contain some interesting trends that should be noted.

A graph included in the 2010 “State of Our Unions” report revealed a decrease in percentage of people age 15 or older who were married from the years 1960 to 2009. Also included in the report was a graph depicting the percent chance of divorce or separation within ten years of the first marriage for women ages 15 to 44, based on year of marriage and education. The percentage was highest for those least educated and married between 1970 and 1974 and lowest for the most highly educated women married between 1995 and 1999.

Though the risk of divorce is decreasing for both the least and most educated women, more women are choosing to cohabitate rather than get married. The percentage of moderately educated women in a cohabitational relationship increased from 39 percent to 68 percent from 1988 to the timeframe including the years 2006 to 2008. Some researchers expected this trend to continue.

The National Vital Statistics System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes marriage and divorce statistics each year. Out of a population of 244,122,529 in 2010, there were 872,000 divorces and annulments, resulting in a 3.6 percent divorce rate per 1,000 population. It should be noted that these statistics exclude data for Minnesota, Louisiana, Indiana, Hawaii, Georgia, and California.

Changes to divorce rules/laws can have an impact on the divorce rate. U.S. divorce laws were overhauled at the end of the 1960s and divorce rates more than doubled in all states. Researchers postulate that changes within divorce settlements make spouses agree to divorce. Women benefit from child custody laws and men benefit from the favorable division of property. Spouses frequently retain divorce lawyers to ensure that their rights are upheld during a divorce.

The most recent divorce news announced that higher divorce rates cause American women to work harder. According to researchers, this is because marriage offers women implied social insurance. As secondary income earners, American women should make sure to gain work experience so they can support themselves if they get divorced in the future. And obviously, hiring a divorce attorney has shown that those with a divorce attorney win just over 73% of custody and property battles in divorce.

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