For the past few decades, researchers have believed that the U.S. divorce rate is on the decline. U.S. Census data seemed to show that the divorce rate reached its highest point in the mid-1970s and has been steadily declining ever since. A new study shows, however, that this long-held belief appears to be incorrect.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Population Center recently published a study in the journal Demography that suggests the divorce rate in the U.S. has been steadily increasing, not decreasing, over the past few decades. One of the most important aspects of this new study is a re-examination of the data that experts have used over the years to determine the country’s divorce rate. In the past, experts recognized that the sources they used for divorce data were flawed, but they believed that the use of new techniques of analysis ensured accuracy. The Minnesota Population Center study demonstrates, however, that this is not the case. In fact, problems with the ways in which divorce data is collected – even in data sets long recognized as accurate – have contributed to a warped understanding of divorces across the country.
Fortunately, steps have already been taken to help address these problems. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau has already added questions regarding divorce to its American Community Survey. This survey is conducted each year and is generally regarded as the best, most accurate source of demographic information about the population in the U.S.
Interestingly, what this recent study shows is that divorce rate is on the rise, particularly among older adults. This affects not only those who remarried, but also those who have been married for a very long time. This perspective challenges assumptions held for many years that couples who have been together for decades are less likely to split up. It is unclear why this is happening, but it is a subject that the study’s authors suggest deserves more attention.
It is important for those who are thinking about filing for divorce to speak to an experienced divorce attorney as early in the process as possible. A divorce attorney can provide essential information about what to expect during the process, what information is needed and how to proceed. Filing for divorce can be a difficult decision, but it is the first step in getting a fresh start and beginning a new chapter in your life. Schedule a meeting with a divorce attorney today.