Divorce statistics are sometimes inaccurate and difficult to decipher.
In fact, divorce statistics from early American history are often unreliable due to many factors.
Primarily, record keeping was not as detailed as it currently is, and furthermore, many couples chose to live separate lives in the absence of a legally granted divorce – this is due to the difficulty of being granted a divorce at that time.
However, it is estimated that divorce rates have increased from 5% in colonial times, to 50% in current times.
Many people equate that increase came as a result of a wider acceptance of divorce. The history of divorce in the spectrum of American history, individuals that got divorced were often treated as outcasts by society and especially by the church.
In fact, divorce statistics suggest that religious couples are significantly less likely to get divorced. However, historians are unsure if the dynamic is due to one’s faith, or if it is due to religious opposition to the practice of divorce.
Regardless, the divorce rate among Catholics is significantly lower than in other religions. Yet, religion is just one factor that influences divorce rates.
There exist many details included in divorce rates, and those details have great influence over the representation of rates. 50% of couples do get divorced, but that number does not give a full representation of the facts involved in divorce statistics.
In addition, age plays a large factor in divorce. In fact, couples that get married at an older age, are less likely to divorce than their younger counterparts.
Couples that take part in second and third marriages are much more likely to divorce than those in their first marriage, and couples that have children are less likely to divorce than childless couples.
In part, this reduction is due to parents’ perceived influence that divorce has on children.
In fact, some couples wait until all children are out of the house before they get divorced. The economy also plays a role in a couple’s decision to divorce.
There are two schools of thought on the economy’s influence on marriage. Primarily, bad economies strain relationships; many say that a bad economy also leads to a lowered divorce rate because couples simply cannot afford to maintain two separate households.
While their relationship may be strained, couples tend to stay together when the economy is bad. Divorce rates are also influenced by religion, in fact, couples that attend services, are significantly less likely to get divorced.
There are many factors that influence divorce statistics. Age, children, religion, and general acceptance of divorce, are factors that play a large role in couples’ decisions to get divorced or attempt to stay together.
Couples with children often stay married longer than couples that are childless. In fact, many couples claim to stay together for the children. In addition, couples that are religious tend to try and avoid divorce.
However, couples that do divorce and re-marry are much more likely to get divorced than couples in their first marriage. While factors vary, one thing is clear, divorce rates continue to rise.