Written by Canterbury Law Group

Legal Trends in Divorce

Divorce has been around for centuries, but it is by no means a stagnant concept. Similar to nearly everything in life and the law, divorce has changed with the times and will continue to do so. The family attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are on the forefront of these evolving divorce trends.

1. Decreasing Marriage Rate – Less Divorces – Contrary to popular belief; the divorce rate in the United States is declining. After peaking in 1980 with 22.6 divorces per 1,000 married women, aged 15 and older in the U.S., the rate has been going down ever since. In 2009, there were 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women. However, what’s really happening is that there are fewer marriages overall as more couples are choosing to live together instead of get married. Fewer marriages translate into fewer opportunities to get divorced—and that equals declining divorce rates.

2. Increase in “Grey divorce” – Although the overall divorce rate is declining, the 50+ age group is seeing a dramatic rise in marital breaks. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, which coined the term, “the divorce rate among adults ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010.” In fact, one in four people getting divorced today is 50 or older. The growing phenomenon even has a name to describe it: “the grey divorce revolution.” One possible explanation for the increase in divorce in older couples is the fact that there are simply so many baby boomers out there. Another factor could be that second and subsequent marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages—and those who have had several marriages are often older in general.

3. Mandatory Divorce Classes – While state laws vary greatly regarding divorce from no-fault provisions to “cooling off” waiting periods, nearly all states now offer courses or seminars to divorcing couples, especially those with children, according to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. In many states, attendance is mandatory before a court will grant the divorce of parents in particular. Such classes may include meetings with a therapist, watching videos, or role-playing.

Whether you are considering filing for divorce or you’ve already been served with a divorce petition, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately to assess your legal rights and take the necessary steps to protect them. Delay may result in limiting your options. Every situation is unique and the Scottsdale attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are well equipped to provide you with the tools to make the best decision that suits your particular situation.

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