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What does divorce look like in the 21st century?

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Since the 1970s, divorce rates have increased in the United States. Women of the ‘70s gained many freedoms, possibly giving them the courage to buck tradition and exit an unhappy marriage. More men also began initiating divorces to escape unfulfilling marriages, and the trend has continued.

Although most people no longer believe divorce is scandalous or disgraceful, many still find it difficult to escape its negative stigma. If you feel guilty about your divorce, perhaps the following divorce statistics will help you feel better.

Effect on children

You may know that children of divorced parents may have an increased chance of divorcing themselves. However, recent data shows that kids who grew up in intact families with two battling parents are more likely to seek divorce as adults.

Reasons for divorcing

About 75% of American divorces occur due to a lack of commitment. Other leading causes of divorce include:

  • Infidelity—about 59%
  • Excessive conflict—about 57%
  • Financial problems—about 36%
  • Substance abuse—about 34%

The data shows that about 23% of U.S. divorces arise due to domestic violence.

Select divorce demographics

Here are some more demographic details:

  • About 40% of first-time marriages end in divorce
  • A couple divorces in America about every 13 seconds
  • On average, U.S. marriages last eight years
  • More women than men initiate divorce
  • The average age of those in a first divorce is about 30

Finally, those with a close friend who has gone through a divorce have a higher chance of also divorcing.

Why does this matter?

If you realize that others in situations like yours are going through the same thing, it could improve how you view divorce. A healthier outlook empowers you to focus on protecting your rights under Illinois divorce laws.

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