Odds are that you’ve been told, at least in passing, that the divorce rate in the United States is 50%. If you casually ask anyone what divorce statistics they know, this oft-repeated stat is probably the one that they’re going to pull out.
But is it true? People may assure you that it is, but are they just repeating what they’ve heard?
A common divorce myth
In reality, the 50% statistic is nothing more than a common divorce myth. It is so entrenched in the public consciousness at this point that it’s unlikely to ever fade away, but no studies actually show a divorce rate of 50%.
How did this happen? When no-fault divorce laws were put in place, the divorce rate quickly soared. This was because a lot of unhappy couples simply didn’t have a reason to split up — other than their own happiness — and couldn’t get divorced in a way that put the fault on either one. When they were finally allowed to get divorced without declaring fault, they jumped on the chance.
As the rates rose, predictions were made that the rate would eventually hit 50%, or that half of all marriages would end in divorce. That never happened and the rate actually fell after the initial spike, but the statistic was easy to remember and so, even in 2021, it’s something that you’ll often hear people repeat.
Are you seeking a divorce?
This does illustrate how divorce has changed over the years and how you can seek a no-fault divorce even today. If you do want to split up, you need to know what legal steps to take to get the process started.