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Divorce in the United States - Statistics & Facts

In the United States, there are two types of divorces recognized by the court: absolute divorce and limited divorce. The former requires some evidentiary proof of wrongdoing or misconduct on one spouse’s part, and results in judicial termination of the marriage. The latter refers to the termination of cohabitation rights, but the court withholds from dissolving the matrimony. Until 1857, divorce was an option that was only open to men. The new law gave women the possibility to divorce, but only in the case of proven adultery together with additional faults, such as cruelty or rape. Although new changes to the law came in the decades afterwards, the Divorce Reform Act from 1969 brought more significant changes as it allowed people to divorce with no proof of fault from any part.

Nevada leads the rankings

In the decades after the Divorce Reform Act, divorces increased. However, since the 1980s the divorced population has decreased again. This could be due to a general decrease in marriage rates in the United States. Nowadays, Nevada has the highest divorce rate in the country. Unsurprisingly, it also has the highest marriage rate. Marrying in Nevada is easier than in other states, as it is the only U.S. state where it is possible to get a marriage license and immediately get married. Similarly, getting a divorce is faster. In Nevada and Idaho, the minimum time of residence to submit a divorce is six weeks.

Demographics of the divorced population

As of 2019, there were about 750,000 divorces registered in the United States. The divorce rate stands at 2.9 per 1,000 of the population. Data on family income levels show that, in absolute values, there are more divorces among the lowest and the very high-income groups of the population. In terms of childcare, children of divorce live with the mothers in the most cases. In 2019, there were almost 15 million families with a single mother, whereas the number of families with a single father added up to 6.5 million. The highest share of households led by a single mother and with children aged under 18 was in Louisiana and Mississippi, where they exceed 11 percent of all households.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 20 most important statistics relating to "Divorce in the United States".


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