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Statistics Tell the Story about Marriage and Divorce


The expression who wears the pants in the family has been around for years, but which gender is the decision-maker when it comes to divorce?  Interestingly enough, studies show that it is not the men but the women. Women initiate divorce much more frequently than men. And this is despite the fact that after divorce they often live in less financially stable conditions than their counterparts. An article by ABC News 20/20 cited statistics that women initiate two-thirds of American divorces. The article also described how men after divorce have a much more difficult time adjusting emotionally than women do. This fact would stand to reason since divorce is generally not their initiative or preference.

The U.S. Census Bureau released 2009 statistics based on the American Community Survey Data on Marriage and Divorce. This survey revealed interesting statistics for marital relationships in the United States:

  • Marriage rates are higher for men than women
  • Divorce rates are lower for men than women
  • Men remarry more frequently than women
  • More women end up widows than men widowers
  • Divorce rates are higher in the southern states
  • Marriages of the longest duration are in southern states
  • Northeastern states have lower marriage and divorce rates
  • Men and women are waiting longer to marry (in their late twenties and early thirties) than in previous years
  • Greater percentages of men and women in the 25-34 age range were unmarried than married
  • Older Americans tended to have marriages of the longer durations

Whether marriage, divorce, or death, these are events with legal consequences. The legal aspect of divorce is obvious, but taking legal steps prior to marriage can offer advantages. A prenuptial agreement invariably helps a couple make the transition more smoothly through divorce or deal with death if a spouse dies.

For legal guidance related to family issues, consult an experienced New York family law attorney.