- In 2019, divorce isn’t all that uncommon – but the trend is steadily decreasing.
- Last year, a University of Maryland professor found that the US divorce rate dropped 18% from 2008 to 2016.
- We wanted to see how divorce rates varied in every state, and found the number of divorces per state per 1,000 people.
- Nevada takes the crown, but Oklahoma is not far behind it.
The statistics are from 2017, and measured per 1,000 people since while we know the number of divorces every year, the population changes. The rates include provisional counts of divorce, annulments, and legal counts of separation for certain counties. However, five states don’t report their divorce stats to the government – California, New Mexico, Minnesota, Indiana, and Hawaii.
Here are the 25 states with the highest divorce rates in the US.
23. (TIE) Virginia, Nebraska, and Delaware — 3 divorces per 1,000 people
While divorce appears to be legal in Virginia, the state had some antiquated laws on the books, according to the Huffington Post. Under the Code of Virginia, Section 18.2-344, unmarried fornication is a Class 4 misdemeanour.
19. (TIE) North Carolina, New Hampshire, Montana, and Missouri — 3.1 divorces per 1,000 people
Birthday parties are over – it’s all about the divorce party now.
17. (TIE) Maine and Colorado — 3.2 divorces per 1,000 people
Colorado is one of the few states that legally allows marriage by proxy. In other words, if someone is unavailable on their wedding day, they can legally have another person stand in for them.
14. (TIE) Washington, Utah, and Oregon — 3.4 divorces per 1,000 people
The Bezos’ live in Washington, which is considered a “common property” state. This means that any wealth acquired during the divorce (read: the billions of dollars generated by Amazon) is fair game to split between the two.
10. (TIE) West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and Arizona — 3.5 divorces per 1,000 people
January is known as “divorce month,” since the amount of divorces filed increase significantly during the first month of the year. This could be because couples want to wait until after the holidays to break the news, or because it’s part of their fresh start to the year.
8. (TIE) Florida and Alaska — 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people
According to John Gottman, a psychological researcher who has spent 40 years studying relationships and claims he can predict the success of a marriage with 83% accuracy, the key to success is how a couple handles conflict. Of the 130 couples he studied, those that dealt with conflict with a “harsh startup” – an upfront display of negative emotions – all divorced.
5. (TIE) Kentucky, Arkansas, and Alabama — 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people
Divorce doesn’t always have to mean the end of your relationship. INSIDER’s Angela Johnson wrote about how she divorced her husband of five years, only to end up living together and raising their children together, without the strings of marriage.
4. Idaho — 3.9 divorces per 1,000 people
To avoid divorce, you might want tighten your purse strings for the wedding – a recent study found an inverse relationship between wedding spending and marriage duration.
3. Wyoming — 4 divorces per 1,000 people
2. Oklahoma — 4.1 divorces per 1,000 people
According to a divorce attorney INSIDER interviewed, the three biggest mistakes married couples are making are a lack of communication, ignoring red flags, and picking the wrong person in the first place.
1. Nevada — 4.5 divorces per 1,000 people
Like Washington, Nevada is a common property state as well. Stephen Fife, a marriage counselor in southern Nevada, told the Las Vegas Sun that the reason for the high divorce rate in Nevada may be due to “the culture of Las Vegas that has people getting married quickly and not thinking about the probability of long-term success. They are not taking divorce seriously, either.”
Getting a divorce in Nevada is also easier than in most other places: uncontested divorces can be finalised within 10 days, and there are no waiting periods.
- Read more:
- 14 ways to make your divorce as painless as possible, according to a therapist
- A woman blew up her wedding dress to celebrate her divorce and the impact could be felt from miles away
- Money is a leading cause of divorce – but Suze Orman says a major ‘red flag’ early on could help you avoid financial disaster
- 6 signs your marriage won’t last a year
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