Tag: Divorce Rates

Divorce Rates Rising . . . in Iran

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

Around the world couples are splurging on divorce parties. It is a sign of an undeniable trend: divorce rates are rising. This angers clerics in Iran. So what’s behind the increase over there?

As Reuters recently reported, Mustafa Pour Mohammadi, the current justice minister, said that 14 million divorce cases within the judiciary is “not befitting of an Islamic system”.

Some of the causes for divorce in Iran, like Florida, include economic problems, adultery, drug addiction or physical abuse. But the increase in the divorce rate has also been linked to a growth in individualism.

Women are more educated and have increased financial empowerment. It used to be that a woman would marry and she would just have to get along. Now if she’s not happy, she’ll separate. It’s not taboo.

In Iran, the government doesn’t like divorce to come from the side of women. Marital law in Iran traditionally favors husbands, who have the right to ask for a divorce.

In the cases where the husband refuses to divorce, the wife must legally prove that the husband is abusive, has psychological problems or is somehow unable to uphold his marriage responsibilities in order to separate.

Another alternative is to enforce the Mahr agreement. I’ve written about Mahr agreements before.

Mahr agreements are common in Iran, are negotiated before the marriage and have two parts: a premarital payment in exchange for marriage vows, and a post-nuptial payment made if the marriage ends in divorce or death. Mahr agreements in Iran are usually based on gold coins.

The rise in the divorce rate worries government officials in Iran because it comes as the birth rate is plunging. Last year, parliament’s social affairs committee proposed that $1.1 billion be dedicated to facilitating marriages but the motion did not pass in parliament.

A more controversial proposal has been to create a Ministry of Marriage and Divorce, which some officials have criticized on the grounds that a new ministry would create more bureaucracy rather than address the overall issue of rising divorce.

The Reuters report can be read here.

Divorce is Contagious

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Monday, May 5, 2014.

A Brown University study shows that the divorceof a friend can increase your own chances of getting divorced. Facebook keeps you in touch, but also brings people’s problems to you, and could be impacting divorce rates. Should you start planning for your divorce if your friend just filed?

The Brown University study, conducted in Framingham, MA, found that:

75% of participants were more likely to get divorced if a friend was divorced,

55% were more likely to get a divorce than someone who works with all married coworkers,

33% were more likely to end their marriage even if a friend of a friend got divorced.

22% of participants were more likely to divorce if they had a divorced sibling.

So, with divorce rates inching up recently, is there a virus floating around? Not really. Divorce dissolves your social ties. The Brown University study suggests that divorce is a “social contagion” – the spread of information, attitudes and behaviors through friends, family and social networks. In that regard, Facebook and Twitter are carriers!

“The key is that the effects are not so much geographical, but that you are emotionally or psychologically close to someone who gets divorced.”

I’ve written about some other facts about rising divorce rates before. The Brown University study though, had some other interesting results:

– Popular people are less likely to get divorced;

– Divorcées have denser social networks, and are much more likely to remarry other divorcées;

– The presence of children does not influence the likelihood of divorce;

– Each child reduces the susceptibility to being influenced by peers who get divorced.

– Attending to the health of a friend’s marriages supports your own.

Divorce itself is not contagious, but emotions can be. An abstract of the study can be found here.

Divorce Rates are Way Up?

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Sunday, March 30, 2014.

The accepted wisdom is that divorce rates have dropped since the 1980s, and have been declining since. I recently blogged about how more people are divorcing. Now there is a new report confirming that divorce rates have actually risen by a whopping 40%!

Part of the problem with counting divorces is that collecting divorce statistics in the United States is not consistent. Some counties keep good track of finalized divorce cases, others don’t. Also, different states and the federal Census Bureau have had a rocky history of collecting the data from across the country.

In fact, the federal government has stopped providing financial support for detailed state collection, and some states, especially California, have stopped reporting divorce rates entirely.

A new paper has looked to a different source of information: the American Community Survey, which is an ongoing sampling of population in every state. Here are some of their findings:

– Since 1980 the overall divorce rate has declined only 2.2%.

– Controlling for the change in the age of the population the divorce rate has actually risen 40%.

– The divorce rate peaked in 2011.

By the year 2010, the report notes, “almost half of ever married Americans had divorced or separated by the time they reached their late 50’s.”

The increase in the divorce rate is being blamed on the Baby Boomers, those born between 1945 and 1954. In the 1970s, Baby Boomers, who were then in their twenties, were equally likely to divorce.

But by 1990, couples in their twenties were more stable, but the Baby Boomers, who were entering their forties, continued to divorce “at unprecedented rates.” Since then, the biggest rise in divorce has the “massive increase” in divorce among women in their fifties.

The report also finds that younger married couples are actually enjoying more stable marriages than Baby Boomers did at their age. However, the reason divorce is lower for younger married couples today is that most younger couples are not getting married; instead they’re cohabitating.

Cohabitation has always been far less stable than marriages.

Our results document striking growth in…turbulence since the 1980s. Divorce at age 40 or higher is much more common than it was and because cohabitation makes up a rapidly growing percentage of all unions they have an increasing impact on overall union instability.

One point to keep in mind is the source of their data. Remember, Kennedy and Ruggles, relied on the American Community Survey for their data. the American Community Survey is just a household survey filled out by a single individual, and may not be the most reliable source of divorce reports.

An abstract of the Report can be found here.

Divorce Rate Increases

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Sunday, March 2, 2014.

The number of people divorce rose again for the 3rd year in a row. The broader economic effects of the increase are clear: It is contributing to the formation of new households, boosting demand for housing, appliances and furnishings and spurring the economy. Why are more people divorcing now?

Since Florida’s economy and housing market are recovering, more and more couples are moving forward with their divorces after years of showing up to work as if nothing were wrong in their personal lives.

Hard economic times kept many couples locked in unhappy marriages. Often people stay together for financial reasons. As Bloomberg reports, Amy Derose and her husband Lawrence stayed together for the sake of their engineering firm in Pompano Beach:

“The business was hanging on by a thread and we had to hang on,” said Derose, 53, who had been married 35 years and worked as the business manager. “We couldn’t afford to split. He needed me in the business and I needed him.”

However, there are economic effects from the increase in divorce filings: they are creating new households, boosting demand for housing, appliances and furnishings and may spur the economy.

More than 5 million new households were established in the past 4 years, and that helps to create housing demands by creating two households when before there was only one.

Newly single men are renting apartments to stay close to their children and attend school events. Newly single women are entering the work force:

“In unhappy marriages, they have started having the macroeconomic ability to unwind,” he said. That is creating “a little bit of a tailwind” for apartments.

Also helping to motivate people to get out of unhappy marriages are the rising stock and home values. The increase in home equity and investments has given people a sense of greater financial security.

In Florida, which saw home-price gains after huge drops, we are experiencing an increase in divorce rates to above 2008 levels:

“In many cases after divorce, people sell their homes and divide up the proceeds,” he said, which provides “each of them with a nest egg to begin their separate lives.”

Although a bigger stock account and home equity to divide may motivate a divorce, splitting into two homes takes a financial toll on a couple. However, many couples report that ending an unhappy marriage was:

worth every moment of hardship. I had to take full ownership of my life, my choices, my future, and my happiness.

You can read the Bloomberg report here.

Are Rising Divorce Rates a Good Thing?

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

With low tax rates, no income tax, and a pleasant climate (outside of hurricane season) Florida attracts a lot of people who settle here, and sometimes they divorce. Florida ranks roughly 8th in divorce rates in the United States.

We view divorce in Florida as a regrettable part of life. But internationally, divorce is starting to be viewed as a positive sign of social change. As Business Week reports:

A little-noticed trend is spreading in many of the world’s emerging economies: More and more people are getting divorced.

Outside of North America, Europe, and Oceania, two-thirds of the countries for which the United Nations has data saw rising divorce rates from 2007 to 2011.

According to the UN:

  • Mexico: the divorce rate has steadily climbed since the late 1970s.
  • Brazil, divorce was against the law 30 years ago, the divorce rate is now about 1.4 per thousand people.
  • China, Thailand, Iran, and South Korea, have seen more than a roughly fivefold increase in divorces over the past few decades.

What are the Reasons? As Business Week further reports:

The rise of divorce internationally is both an indicator of and force behind social changes that have improved prospects for women, reduced gender inequality, and fueled development. All of which suggests that the more people are able to get out of bad marriages, the better off their societies are likely to be.

So, the more common divorce becomes in a society, the less of a stigma it’s likely to be. Conversely, divorce causes greater unhappiness in societies where it’s rare. The period before a divorce people report low life satisfaction, but the period after it is comparatively satisfactory, especially for women.

In the developing world, increased divorce rates have mirrored improvement in measures of gender equality.

In Brazil, the Rede Globo channel broadcasts a slate of soap operas that feature powerful female leads who work, make investment decisions, and commit infidelities as frequently as their male counterparts. During the 1970s and ’80s, as Rede Globo’s reach expanded across the country, the divorce rate went up while fertility rates went down, according to researchers from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Occupation as a Predictor of Divorce

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Monday, July 30, 2012.

If you marry your favorite massage therapist, are you more likely to divorce than if you’d picked a matrimonial lawyer?

That is the question answered in a study published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

It is a common belief that the divorce rate for police officers is higher than that of the general population. This belief is commonly held in spite of the fact that there is no empirical research supporting such a belief. To compare the divorce rate of law enforcement personnel with the rates for other occupations, we analyzed data from the 2000 U.S. Census. The results of this analysis indicate that the divorce rate for law enforcement personnel is lower than that of the general population, even after controlling for demographic and other job-related variables.

The numbers don’t paint the whole picture. If a person divorced and remarried by the time of the Census, they would be counted as married. So it could be that spouses in some jobs are just quicker to jump into the next marriage than others. Also, the data don’t reveal whether it’s the nature of the jobs that lead to divorce, or if people prone to unstable relationships are drawn to certain professions.

So, here are five jobs with the highest relative divorce rates:

1. Massage therapists

2. Bartenders

3. Dancers and choreographers

4. Health diagnosing and treating practitioners

5. Physicians and surgeons

And, here are five jobs with some of the lowest relative divorce rates:

1. Media and communication equipment workers

2. Agricultural engineers

3. Directors, religious activities and education

4. Transit and railroad police

5. Clergy