Here’s some new facts and figures about divorce gleaned from a new article by Dee Lee, a Certified Financial Planner.
- Each year in the USA, over 2 million people get married. Nearly 50% of them will end in a Divorce.
- 2nd marriages do not fare well. Apparently experience isn’t much help in this area. 67% will end in a divorce. For 3rd marriages, it gets even worse: 74% of them wind up in Splitsville.
- The average age of first marriages that call it quits is 30.
- New studies (which unfortunately are not cited in the article) indicate that children suffer much more trauma than originally thought after a divorce. Yikes!
- Family law is a $28 billion dollar industry each year. Divorce lawyers in Massachusetts charge an average of $350 an hour. This is in the same ballpark as Sacramento. The “cottage industry” includes more than just attorneys: mediators, therapists, CPAs, court personnel, process servers, visitation supervisors, appraisers, authors, book publishers and more.
- The cost of a divorce is about $20,000. I recall reading years ago some ABA statistics that the average party in a divorce spends about $10,000 so this would be in agreement. If a divorce is in your future, it is important to be realistic about the costs and plan for it.
If you have recently been through a divorce, how much was your attorney and what was the total bill? Were you satisfied or did you feel ripped off? As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!
Source and further reading: CBS Boston. Photo credit by umjanedoan at Flickr (CC by 2.0).
Some time ago in the Sacramento Bee I saw an article that contained some interesting Facts & Figures about Marriage and Relationships. I ripped the article out, but failed to post it here until now. As someone who works in family law, I’m always interested in these sorts of statistics! I updated the original Bee list to include information related to same sex marriages in California..
- 753,000: Estimated number of households in the Sacramento metropolitan area.
- 374,000: Estimated number of those households shared by married couples.
- 46,000: Estimate of those households that are shared by a man and woman. Of these 3,300 are shared by two women and 2,940 are shared by two men.
- 8 Years: The average length of first marriages that end in divorce in the United States. (Note that in California, a “long term marriage” under the Family Code is 10 years. This has important implications for spousal support!)
- 3.5 Years: Median time between divorce and a second marriage.
- 12 of men & 13% of women: Proportions of those over 15 years of age who had married twice by 2004.
- 3 of men and women had married three or more times by 2004.
- 58 percent of women 15 and older had married only once as of 2004.
- 54 percent of American men had married once as of 2004.
- 38 percent of men in their 50’s had been divorced by 2004.
- 41 percent of women in their 50’s had been divorced by 2004.
- About 33 percent of men and 25 percent of women reported never having married.
- 28.4: Median age at marriage for men in California. (Nationally it is 27.5.)
- 26.2: Median age at marriage for women in California. (Nationally it is 25.9.)
- 45,515: Number of domestic-partner declarations filed in California with the Secretary of State’s office between 2000 and September of 2008. (Note that domestic partnerships are still available in California even after Proposition 8. Domestic partners have many of the same legal protections and benefits as married spouses in California).
- 5,335: Number of terminations of domestic partnerships filed with the Secretary of State’s office.
- 18,000: Approximate number of same sex marriages validated in California before the passage of Proposition Eight.
- 4037: Number of marriage licenses issued to same sex couples on the day before the State Supreme Court issued its stay.
- 57 percent of same sex couples in California were women.
- 74 percent of same sex couples in California were over the age of 35.
- 69 percent of same sex couples in California held at least one college degree.
Some of the statistics above were obtained at the Alternatives to Marriage Project
. This is an interesting and worthy national nonprofit organization advocating for equality and fairness for unmarried people
, including people who are single, who choose not to marry, cannot marry, or live together before marriage. Despite being one of the fasting growing demographic groups in America, single people often suffer discrimination
in various forms. For instance, they may be taxed at a different rate, experience difficulty obtaining housing or not have equal access to health care benefits. A more complete list of current issues and public policy concerns
can be found here. The group is not against
marriage per se, they simply feel there are other legitimate lifestyle options for families that people may want to consider. It is important to note that this progressive organization is “open to everyone, including singles, couples, married people, people in relationships with more than two people, and people of all genders and sexual orientations.” To get involved, click the banner below!
P.S. — I have started a new Legal Technology blog also on Xanga called “Law Tech Geek.” I imagine it will mostly appeal to attorneys who are interested in learning more about how technology relates to law practice management. However, it might have some interest to techies. Everyone is welcome to check it out!
Other Sources: US Census Bureau, California Secretary of State’s Office, 365gay.com crediting Associated Press, Wikipedia “Same Sex Marriage in California.”
Photo credit: “Finnish Summer Night” by Wili Hybrid (creative commons license)