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Aurora dissolution of marriage attorney

Statistics on the divorce rate are often vague and difficult to understand, and they may change depending on the source you consult. While some sources state that more than half of marriages end in divorce, others estimate that the divorce rate is actually somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. While the numbers can be debated, most sources agree on a few of the most common factors that are prevalent in many divorces. While these factors are not a guarantee that your marriage will not stand the test of time, their presence has been linked to the increased probability of divorce. Here are a few of the most common elements that can affect your odds of marital success:

  1. You Were Young When You Got Married

Many studies conducted have concluded that getting married at a very young age can be a predictor that your marriage will not last. A study in the Journal of Marriage and Family concluded that those who were married in their teens or early 20s had a higher chance of getting divorced than couples who waited until they were in their late 20s or 30s. This may be due to a lack of maturity or simply growing apart as spouses get older. 


economy, Aurora divorce attorneysWhile a marriage or divorce is often the result of a combination of emotional factors, it impossible to deny that finances play a major role in both. In marriage, tax benefits are generally available for both spouse, and the idea of combining two incomes is often a motivating factor—especially for younger couples looking to make ends meet.

Similarly, divorce also effects requires a number of financial changes and places economic demands on recent ex-spouses who must adapt to living on their own. It is little wonder that health of the national economy can be an influential force when it comes to keeping a marriage together or tearing it apart.

Money Matters


religion, DuPage County divorce attorneyWhile the rate of divorce has been on the decline for the last several years—at least according to most estimates—there was a period between the late 1970s and early 1980s at which the divorce rate reached its peak. About half of all of the marriages that took place during that time eventually ended in divorce. The children who were born during that same period largely comprise the generation collectively known as millennials. Much has been written about the differences millennials and the generations which preceded them—Generation X and the Baby Boomers—with one of the most glaring being millennials’ approach to religion. Today, one in four Americans—and nearly 40 percent of millennials—do not associate themselves with any particular faith or religion, a drastic increase from the 5 percent in 1972.

Religion and Divorce

A recent study suggests that there may, in fact, be a connection between the increase in divorce rate and the decrease in religious participation. According to research conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, children of divorced parents are much more likely to have no religious affiliation as adults. The study found that 35 percent of those whose parents were divorced during their childhood identify as non-religious, compared to 23 percent of those whose parents were together during most of their childhood.


date, DuPage County divorce lawyerDo you know a couple who intentionally chose to get married on a particular date based on how the month, day, and year coincided—January 2, 2003, for example, often written as 1/2/03? Or perhaps you know a couple who plan to get married on Valentine’s Day. While such choices are often seen as quirky or romantic, new research suggests that couples who marry on dates that may be considered gimmicky could be at a higher risk for divorce than those who choose more traditional dates.

Australian Study

Economists at the University of Melbourne in Australia were interested in learning more about the impact that a couple’s wedding day could have on the future of the marriage. The team cited previous research suggesting that expensive weddings and pricey engagement rings increased the risk of divorce while well-attended weddings with formal ceremonies decreased such risks. Looking to expand these ideas, the Australian team looked at more than one million Dutch marriages from 1999-2013 and examined how the choice of a wedding date fared for couples on average.


divorce rate, DuPage County divorce lawyerEveryone “knows” that half of all American marriages end in divorce, which means the divorce rate is probably right around 50 percent, right? Comparing U.S. Census Bureau’s numbers on marriages and divorces in a given year, this commonly-cited “fact” appears to be completely true. The reality is, however, that numbers without context can be extremely misleading, especially when you consider that marriages and divorces in the same year are not really related to one another.

A Look Behind Numbers

It makes sense when you think about it: couples who are getting married this year—with maybe a few exceptions for remarriage cases—are not the same couples who are getting divorced. The couple applying for a marriage license at the courthouse have very little to do with the couple down the hall filing a petition for dissolution. In fact, according to some research, the divorce rate of those marrying in the 1990s or later closer to one-third than to one-half.


Posted on in Divorce

divorce rate, profession, Illinois divorce attorneyAny time researchers try to find trends in the divorce rate, there is always a certain “which comes first” debate that takes place. For example, when looking at professions or occupations that are more prone to divorce, the question must be asked, “Does this profession increase the likelihood of divorce or is the type of person more prone to divorce, for whatever reason, more inclined to work in this field?” Whatever the case may be, there is little question that divorce is more common among those who work in particular industries or jobs, and many such occupations have very similar stresses and pressures.

Police, Firefighters, and Military Personnel

While it is difficult to imagine modern life without individuals who have committed themselves to public safety and national defense, these jobs are not without their downsides. Police officers and fire fighters often work long shifts, with a great deal of stress added to the equation. Servicemen and women spend months at a time away from their spouses and families, frequently leading to communication issues and deteriorating relationships


divorce rate, rate of divorce, DuPage County family lawyerWhile marriage and divorce are very personal decisions, social trends regarding the two are often tied to a large number of other factors. While an individual couple may be taking into account their own circumstances, the economic strength of the country as a whole may play a fairly significant role as well. In fact, according to recent studies, since the 2008 recession in the United States, the overall divorce rate has dropped by about 3 percent.

Marriage Rates Slightly Up Too

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the divorce rate fell again slightly in 2014 from 3.3 divorces per 1,000 total population in 2013 to 3.2 per 1,000. While the divorce rate spiked slightly between 2009 and 2011, it has since been steadily falling from its 2008 rate of 3.5 per 1,000 people.


Posted on in Gray Divorce

gray divorce, older divorce, DuPage County family law attorneyWhile the divorce rate seems to be leveling out for most age groups, there is one in particular in which divorce is more common than ever. Depending upon your perspective, it may come as a surprise to learn that the divorce rate among people age 50 and older today is twice what it was a quarter-century ago. For the 65 and older age group, the rate of divorce has more than doubled. During the same period, the divorce rate for virtually every other age group has remained the same or has fallen. So what is causing the increase in older divorce, or, as some call it, gray divorce? While the explanation is probably not to be found in just a single factor, there are a number of things that may be playing a role.

Not the First Time

One of the contributing factors to increase in gray divorce is the idea that second marriages among all age groups fail at a much higher rate than first marriages, and third or subsequent marriages even more so. Just based on pure probability, and with remarriage rates at record-highs, more and more older Americans are in the midst of a second or third marriages, making them at least two and a half times more likely to experience a divorce.


Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, divorce statistics,It is no secret that divorce is a common practice among Americans. Some studies estimate that one in two married couples in the United States divorce. However, recent reports indicate that some states have higher divorce rates than others.

Recent Study Shows Divorce Rate Low in Illinois

Based on 2013 data from the American Community Survey, the divorce rate in Illinois sits just below 10 percent. This complements other data suggesting that national divorce rates have been declining for the past 30 years.


Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, marriage statistics,It is no secret that nearly half of American marriages end in divorce, at least according to oft-cited statistics. The Center for Disease Control reports that the average marriage rate in the U.S. is 6.8 per 1,000 total people, and the divorce rate was 3.6 in the same number of people. Illinois actually had one of the lowest divorce rates in the country in 2011, at only 2.6 per 1,000 people. Nevada, Oklahoma, and West Virginia had the highest divorce rates in the county, with over 5.2 per 1,000 people. Yet according to many sources, the divorce rate in the U.S. may actually be on the decline in 2015. The reasons as to why may be surprising.

The first is a sign of our times: less people are getting married to begin with. According to research from the Pew Center, only 51 percent of Americans were married in 2011. This is a significant decrease from the 72 percent who were married in 1960. Some researchers suggest the reason for this is because marriage does not seem like the only option in today’s modern world: with more women working outside the home and less relying on a husband to take care of them, marriage rates will fall. The average age of marriage is also increasing — it has long been true that the risk of divorce decreases as the age of marriage increases. Another factor is socioeconomic. The more educated that spouses are, the less likely they are to divorce.

Yet these statistics do not necessarily give the whole picture. Just because a couple is not married does not mean that their long-term relationship is any less painful or financially complicated to end. In fact, often if the couple is not married, it can be even more difficult than divorce because there are not the same legal protections allowed married couples.


DuPage County family law attorney, remarriage, remarrying after divorce, subsequent marriages fail, rebound marriage, Illinois family law attorney, divorce rate“If at first you do not succeed, try, try again.”

While this may be good advice for most things in life, it does not seem to be good advice for those who divorce. The divorce rate for second and third marriages is even more dismal than it is for first marriages. In fact, 67 percent of second marriages fail, and for those that go onto a third marriage, 75 percent can expect to make another trip to divorce court.

There are several theories why subsequent marriages fail. One theory is family dynamics. Often both spouses have children from prior relationships and suddenly there is one big blended family of stepparents and stepchildren. Personality differences and different parenting styles can lead to all types of conflicts. The sense of “family” that often holds first marriages together just does not exist in second and third marriages. Some psychologists also believe that it is easier for couples who have already gone through the breakup of a marriage to walk away from another marriage if they are not happy. They know they can “survive” a divorce, and therefore are not willing to stay in a marriage that is not working for them. One of the most popular theories why subsequent marriages fail is that people get remarried when they still have not completely recovered from their prior marriage. They do not allow themselves to heal or really think about what they want in the future. This is referred to as the “rebound marriage” phenomenon. Conducted research shows that people who marry within one year of a divorce have a very low chance of a lasting new marriage. For someone considering remarriage, there are a few key questions to ask. These include the following:
  1. Have you allowed yourself enough time to “grieve” your last marriage?


marital strain of autism, divorce rate, divorce trend, Illinois divorce lawyerParents helping a child cope with autism may feel the strain on their own relationship. Although much about autism is still unknown, research indicates that married couples might face higher rates of divorce when they have a child affected by autism.

A longitudinal study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison was one of the first major projects to explore marital history of parents for those families with an autistic child. The study found that while parents of an autistic child don’t face a higher divorce rate while the child is young, adolescent children with autism were linked with higher numbers of divorced parents. Many of the marriages in the study ultimately did survive.

The study looked at 391 couples made up of parents of adolescent and adult children with autism, drawing data from the National Survey of Midlife in the United States. For younger children, the divorce rate for parents of autistic children was very similar to parents of disabled children, at least until the child reached the age of eight. At that point, the divorce rate for parents of disabled children starts to go down, but it actually increases for parents of autistic children.

Although many couples reported staying together throughout the challenges of raising an autistic child, the research does point to vulnerability for those marriage couples. The high demands of raising an autistic child at all ages can strain a relationship and lead to arguments. Autism is known as a condition that can vary dramatically between different individuals, meaning that many families have to adapt behaviors and strategies for helping their specific child. Little research has focused on best practices for raising autistic children, making it difficult for parents to work together and create their own approach. If you are struggling with your marriage and would like to discuss legal separation or divorce, contact an Illinois family lawyer today.

divorce rate, divorce trends, Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois divorce attorney, baby boomers, cohabitationThe bulk of research dedicated to determining the prevalence of divorce in this country has discussed a downward trend since the 1980’s. New research indicates, however, that broad generalizations like that don’t get into the heart of more specific aspects of divorce.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota recently took advantage of refined U.S. Census data about divorce to determine just how reliable claims about a declining divorce rate are. According to the study authors, the divorce rate has actually remained relatively steadily since 1980. The determining factor for the divorce rate turned out to be age. When controlling for age, researchers found out that the divorce rate has actually increased by as much as 40 percent since that time.

Divorce rates across age groups are not the same, according to the findings in this study. Back in 1970, there was very little difference between divorce rates for younger and older individuals, but that quickly chances. Baby boomers account for most of the increases in divorce rates. In fact, study authors believe that baby boomers are primarily responsible for “marital instability” that occurred after 1970. This same subset of individuals had higher divorce rates in their 20s and 30s, too, but they still make up a significant portion of divorcing couples.


imsis574-027More couples are choosing to live together before getting married, but that does not necessarily mean that they face a higher chance of divorce. New research out of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro found that there’s no correlation between cohabitation and divorce except when two individuals cohabitate at a young age.

This is not surprising, because settling down at a young age has already been linked to divorce in past studies. The research considered data from thousands of women from 1995, 2002, and between 2006 and 2010, and the results were published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. Lead researcher April Kuperberg says that this is an indication that all past research connecting cohabitation and divorce was the result of incorrect measurements.

Moving in with your significant other can be a difficult adjustment period, but it can also help clue you in to whether or not the relationship should move forward. Different habits in the household can cause couples to erupt into fights. Combining finances for the ease of paying bills can also clue significant others into the spending habits of their partners. Money, in fact, can be a significant factor that influences disagreements between partners.


divorce rate IMAGERecent research seems to suggest that couples on the verge of breaking up might have waited until the recession cleared before moving forward with their divorce plans. A study upcoming in the Population Research and Policy Review points to the drop in divorce rates for women between 2008 and 2009 and correlates with an increase between 2010 and 2011.

Sociologists say this isn’t a new phenomenon. According to sociologist Andrew Cherlin at Johns Hopkins University, divorce rates decreased during the Great Depression despite the stress that many families were over. Once the families regained a sense of financial control, divorce rates spiked again. Researchers believe that concern over affording divorce is the main reason why couples who are contemplating it hold off until their financial situation improves.

If you are already in a marriage on the rocks, financial distress can only serve to make arguments more frequent or vicious. It can be difficult to manage a tense household on limited resources, but if you are concerned about affording a divorce, you might be thinking about waiting until your situation improves. Divorce is a complex decision to make and one that has many factors, so it’s a good step to really think through your options on your own and even to consult with an attorney about divorce planning. Knowing what to expect can remove a lot of the anxiety and questions you have surrounding the divorce process and ultimately give you peace of mind about whether moving forward is the right step for you.

The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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