Shifting patterns of divorce in the 21st century

Matters of marriage and divorce have shifted over recent decades, and the way that we approach the end of a Texas marriage is not the same as in generations past. For example, for many of our grandparents, the idea of walking away from an unhappy marriage was an invitation for social scorn and familial outrage. However, in 2013, it is widely accepted that approximately half of all marriages will end in divorce, and virtually no social stigma remains attached to untying the knot.

One change that has taken place over the years is a rise in the age of individuals who file for divorce. It has become common for older Americans to seek the end of an unhappy marriage, whereas our grandparents would have considered it their duty to soldier through till the bitter end. Today, older people recognize that life still has a lot to offer, and that remaining in a marriage that is not working is no way to spend one’s golden years.

Another shift in divorce trends is found in the fact that women initiate the majority of divorce filings in recent years. Statistics suggest that as many as 66% of divorces are filed by women. This may be due to better employment options for women today than their mothers and grandmothers enjoyed, or because child support and alimony enable women to make ends meet even without a husband in the home.

While the reasons behind these and other social trends are debatable, one thing is certain. Texas spouses who are living within marriages that are unhappy or unfulfilling no longer have to dread a negative social response if and when they decide to move on. Divorce has become a common occurrence, and a part of American life, for better or for worse.

Source: Forbes, “Not Your Mother’s Divorce: Three 21st Century Trends,” Jeff Landers, June 20, 2013