Family Law Blog

Increase in Cohabitation Rates As Remarriage Loses Lure

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A new analysis of federal data proves that remarriage rates around the country are dropping substantially. In fact, according to the analysis by USA Today, those rates dropped approximately 40% over the past couple of decades.

What that means is that the average divorcee /widow/ widower is much less likely to get remarried, compared to his counterpart just a couple of decades ago. Remarriage is losing its shine, and instead, these persons are choosing to cohabit with partners the second time around.

According to the analysis, which compared data from 2011 with 1990, just 29 out of every 1, 000 divorced or widowed Americans in 2011 remarried. That was a drop from 50 per 1, 000 divorced or widowed men or women back in 1990.

The analysis shows that this trend is not restricted to older Americans. The trend is clearly visible across age categories. The biggest drops in remarriage rates are seen in the below 35 age group. In this category, there was a 54% drop in remarriage rates among people between 20 and 24, and a 40% drop among people between the age of 25 and 34.

People, who got married later, are much more likely to put off remarriage. According to the study, the average age for the first marriage now is approximately 27 for women, and 29 for men. When these people get divorced, there are options available to them that seem much more attractive than remarriage. Cohabitation affords these people all the benefits and advantages of a marriage, without any of the legal constraints and hassles involved.

However, even if you are in a cohabitation agreement, it is highly recommended that you sign a cohabitation agreement that clearly defines all responsibilities and obligations in the event of the breakup of a relationship.

Military Deployments Increase Risk of Divorce for Service Members

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life as the spouse of a serviceman or service woman is never easy, and frequent military deployment can exacerbate the tensions in these marriages. According to a new study that was reported by the Rand Organization, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a heavy toll not just in terms of the number of service members killed or injured in the line of duty, but also on the marriages of these personnel.

According to the study, the US military members who have experienced multiple deployments overseas in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan may have a much higher risk of divorce. This risk of divorce seems to rise proportionate to the length of time these service members have served in combat zones overseas.

The negative effects of deployment can be seen in both genders, but the effect seems to be much heavier in the case of female military members. Female servicemen and servicewomen seem to have a much higher risk of filing for divorce in the same situation. The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Population Economics recently.

Overall, the research found that any deployments to an overseas combat zone increased the risk of divorce among servicemen and servicewomen, but the effects were much stronger, when military personnel were deployed to combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Among the couples that were studied as part of the research, couples, who had married before the September 2001 terror attacks and experienced deployment overseas of 12 months to war zones, were approximately 28% more likely to file for divorce within three years of marriage, compared to other couples who had experienced deployments before the 9/11 attacks.

Stepfathers More Likely to Get Divorced

Friday, August 23, 2013

Living in a blended family has its charms, and also challenges. According to a new study, husbands who are also stepfathers are more likely to file for divorce, compared to men in traditional marriages.

According to the study, more than 61% of the male respondents in the research admitted that they initiated the process of divorce in their second marriage. In all these cases, the men were part of blended families, and played the role of stepfathers to at least one child. In contrast, the rate of men who filed for divorce in traditional marriages is just 30%.

There are several reasons why stepfathers felt the need to initiate divorce. At least two- thirds of the men in the research admitted that arguments over the children was one of the main factors that led to divorce. Others mentioned that they constantly felt under-appreciated, and at least one-third reported that they did not find their responsibilities as parents very clear.

Those findings are also corroborated by other research, especially one that was conducted earlier this year by researchers at the Brigham Young School of Social Work. In that study, researchers were able to identify the factors that help make for a successful relationship with stepchildren.

The researchers found that those blended families in which parents, including the mother as well as the stepfather, agreed on how to parent the children and also agreed on minimizing arguments, were much more likely to be successful. The researchers also found that it was very important for mothers to encourage their children to speak out about any frustrations that they may have about the new family situation.

Long Distance Couples Work Harder on Marriage

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Typically, long-distance relationships are believed to be more difficult, and more strained than normal relationships. However, that doesn't seem to be true at all. In fact, according to new research, persons in long-distance relationships are more likely to work harder on their relationship, and probably less likely to visit a Los Angeles divorce lawyer.

The research was published in the Journal of Communication, and finds that people in such long-distance relationship tend to work harder, and have much stronger bonds, and better communication. The wider geographical gap between the partners in the relationship tends to encourage them to engage in deeper communication, than persons in a normal relationship.

The researchers surveyed dating couples in long-distance relationship as well as normal relationships, and asked them to report their daily interactions with each other. The interactions were not just face-to-face, but also involved phone calls, video chat, text messages, e-mail and other forms of communication. The researchers found that persons, who were in long-distance relationships, had better communication and a deeper bond with each other.

The researchers believe that this is possibly so because these couples tend to idealize their partners behaviors, and are more likely to disclose themselves more in the relationship.

According to statistics, as many as 3 million married couples in the United States are currently in long-distance relationships. Traditionally, these relationships have been given a lower chance of success, because of higher levels of stress and jealousy, and a number of other negative issues that could possibly impact the marriage. How the study finds that this is just a misconception. Long-distance relationships could actually be more successful than relationships involving couples located close to each other.

Avoiding Conflict in Senior Years Contributes to Lower Rates of Divorce

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Overall, senior citizens above the age of 65 have lower divorce rates compared to younger persons. That could be because they are more likely to look at ways of diffusing conflict to settle an argument, as opposed to allowing the dispute to blow out of proportion.

Those are the results of a new study that was conducted by researchers at San Francisco State University. According to the research, as couples grow older, they are much more likely to settle disputes and resolve disagreements simply by changing the subject. This serves as a very effective way of defusing a potentially conflict state, and calming down a situation that has the potential to become very nasty.

In fact, the research only confirms the findings of earlier studies that have indicated that as couples age, they tend to avoid conflict and use more positive ways of handling conflicts. This could be partly because many older couples understand that they do not have many years together, and they want to make the most of the time that they do have together.

The researchers assessed the results when married couples used a type of technique called the “demand-withdraw pattern,” as they became older. In this kind of technique, one partner simply blames the other partner for the unresolved problems in the marriage, and pressures him or her to change. The other partner will simply avoid talking about the problem, and withdraws from the situation altogether.

Among younger couples, this kind of technique can be counter-productive, and could actually destabilize the marriage. However, the researchers found that older couples benefit from a situation when one person simply changes the subject and avoids discussion altogether.

Post-Recession Divorces May Improve the Economy

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The nation seems to have gotten through the worst of the Great Recession but the specter of unemployment, decreased property values and stagnant wages still haunts the country. The recovery will probably be ongoing for some time. During the height of the economic challenges, many sectors of American culture were impacted and may never be the same again: driving habits, vacation choices, eating in restaurants, purchasing new cars, moving back home with mom and dad and delaying marriage. The financial downturn seems to have impacted divorce rates as well.

For many people, a divorce may have been the appropriate move emotionally but the recession made going through the process prohibitive. From 2007-2010, as property values dropped, jobs were lost, tuition rose, and businesses shuttered, many Americans may not have been able to seek a life after divorce. In other words, they may have been stuck. This may be a reason why divorce rates actually declined slightly during the recession (NPR). This may soon change according to an article published on Slate.

Not only may divorce rates increase post-recession but this may be good for the economy says Slate writer Matthew Yglesias. He argues that divorce may be a sign of a stronger economy and that the new houses that are furnished and bought or rented will provide "An income boost" that "could create a wave of household formation that drives nationwide incomes even higher." Yglesia's article was published in January of 2012 and recent divorce data is still be gathered. Whether or not his prediction will come true remains to be seen. But, while it may seem cynical to root for marriages to falter, if a couple has been holding off on divorce for fear of economic uncertainty in their own household and in the nation at large, perhaps now is the time to take the leap.