As our society changes, so do our values and standards, as well as what we consider to be the norms in terms of behavior. This affects everything from our choices in education and profession, to relationships, and of course, nearly all other aspects of the way we conduct our lives. And while Marriage and Divorce-capital letters intended here-seem to be solid and unchanging, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Both are dynamic and evolving over time, as can be seen by analyzing even just a few years worth of divorce trends and news.
One case in point is the overall rate of both marriages and divorces in the country. Both of these rates have been dropping. In 2016, the last year with fully available statistics as of the time of this writing, the marriage rate was at 6.9 marriages per 1,000 total population, down from 8.2 in 2000. Meanwhile for divorces, the latest figures show 3.2 per 1,000, down from 4.0 in the same timeframe. Fewer people are getting married, and fewer are getting divorced.
Yet, not all types of divorce are decreasing in prevalence. One specific type is skyrocketing. That’s gray divorce, a term used to references couples over the 50 in long-term marriages getting divorced. The rate there has doubled since 1990.
Another emerging divorce trend is that of animal rights in family law cases, and seeking to protect their wellbeing opposed to viewing them as tradable pieces of property. Three states in the country currently have laws on the record stipulating just that, including Alaska, Illinois, and California, and more in the future seems to be a foregone conclusion.
Meanwhile, all things related to the disparity of income and opportunity, such as discussions of the 1% vs. the 99%, and heated debates and laws on tax rates for the wealthy, continue to be in the spotlight. Consider this-the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, is getting divorced as well. The outcome will likely be the most expensive divorce settlement in history as well, given his status. His personal wealth was estimated at about $140 billion at the start of 2019, and half of that, give or take a few mansions or Amazon stock options, could be up for grabs.
Speaking of financial matters, another divorce trend right now is the growing prevalence of and confusion about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in divorce. Cryptocurrency was generally designed to be difficult or impossible to cleanly trace, while wild swings in their worth provide difficulty in estimating fair value. Both of these issues figure to cause headaches for those trying to sort out digital financial assets in divorce cases in the years ahead.
Clearly, much is changing in the world of marriage and divorce. Staying up to date on the latest divorce trends and news is important on its own, and can also be a useful way to gauge what’s happening elsewhere in society.