Trapped by Thoughts of Your Divorce?
When you are going through a divorce, it often feels as if you’re walking around with blinders on; it’s hard to think about anything but the process and the negative feelings that go with it. You certainly think about your kids, too, but even these thoughts are tainted by the divorce itself. You wonder how the divorce will affect the kids, whether you will get your child support, who will get custody, and other issues that are of deep concern. Knowing the mental spiral you’re going through, we would like to help you out a bit. Below are ten things you may not know about divorce. We hope these facts distract you from your own troubles and help lift those mental blinders. Above all, we hope they help you feel that you are not alone.
The Changing Face of Divorce
Forbes magazine recently ran an article about the modern divorce and the changes the process has seen during the last decade or so. You might be surprised by some of the statistics they uncovered:
1. Divorce rates are going down. Then again, so are marriage rates.
2. 66% of divorces are actually initiated by the wife.
3. White women are more likely to initiate a divorce than any other ethnicity.
4. Divorce rates are going down except among couples over the age of 50, whose rates are rising. However, since marriage rates have only been declining since 1981, there may simply be more married couples over the age of 50 to initiate a divorce in the first place.
5. The West Coast has a much higher divorce rate than the rest of the country. The middle swath of America has a significantly lower rate than the rest of the country.
Strange Divorce Laws
As with most things, there are some truly odd laws regulating divorce. Here are just a few of them:
1. New Mexico and Mississippi allow divorced people to sue a third party for “Alienation of Affection.” In other words, if you leave your spouse for someone else, that person could find themselves facing a lawsuit.
2. In Delaware, it is legitimate grounds for an annulment if your friends dared you to marry your spouse.
3. In Nebraska, any divorce between American Indians that occurred on or after April 8, 1913 are not recognized by law.
4. In Kentucky, you are not permitted to divorce and remarry more than four times.
5. In Wichita, KS, mistreatment of a mother-in-law is not considered a valid reason for divorce.
The Utterly Bizarre
Then there are the facts that are just so strange, it’s hard to believe they’re true:
1. In 2011, the world record was set for the world’s oldest divorcees. Married in 1934, a 99-year-old Italian man asked for a divorce from his 96-year-old wife after he discovered love letters she wrote to her lover in the 1940s.
2. According to Rufus Anneli of The Daily Beast, if you are a smoker married to a non-smoker, you are 75 percent to 91 percent more likely to get divorced than a couple in which both spouses smoke.
3. If you have a son, you are five percent less likely to get divorced than if you have a daughter.
4. According to Ellen McCarthy of The Washington Post, those most likely to get a divorce are dancers and choreographers, bartenders, massage therapists, casino workers, telephone operators, nurses, and home health aides.
5. If you have one of these occupations, you’re among the least likely to get a divorce: salesperson, podiatrist, clergy, agricultural engineer, nuclear engineer, or optometrist.
Of course, these are merely statistics and are in no way meant to take away from the intensely personal nature of divorce or the heartache that it can cause. But still – did you forget your own troubles for just a few minutes? We hope you did.
About the Author:
Gary Warren is a family law attorney in the Dallas area with the law firm Warren & Migliaccio, L.L.P. A native of Garland, TX, Gary completed his undergraduate studies at Texas Tech, and then attended the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Lansing, MI. After law school, he returned to North Texas and currently practices divorce and child custody case law. Gary enjoys American history, the Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, Mavericks, and Cowboys, and teaching Sunday School with his wife and high school sweetheart of 19 years.