The divorce rate in the United States is notoriously high – we’ve all heard the saying that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. The current divorce rate for all marriages of all age groups in the U.S. sits around 50%. However, the chance of divorce isn’t uniformly the same for all couples; the statistics differ for first-time marriages compared to higher-order marriages. According to Psychology Today, an average couple marrying today has a 75% chance of remaining married. In other words, only 25% of these marriages will end in divorce. Higher-order marriages (subsequent marriages), such as a second or third marriage, are more likely to divorce – about 75% of these repeat marriages will end in divorce.
Why Do So Many Marriages End in Divorce?
Indeed, divorce is very common in the U.S. Marrying young, having less education, earning a lower income, living together before marriage, having children before marriage, and not being affiliated with a religious tradition are associated with higher divorce rates. Common reasons for divorce include lack of commitment, incompatibility, infidelity, unrealistic expectations, financial problems, and abuse.
While divorce may seem like the only option, there are other options to consider. These alternatives to divorce include:
- Marriage counseling – Marriage counseling can help a couple work through their problems instead of seeking divorce.
- Legal separation – A legal separation is similar to but not the same as a divorce. Legal separation means that spouses are living apart but are still legally married until a divorce judgement is granted by the court.
- Annulment — Annulment can be an attractive option for some couples. Annulment refers to the voiding of a marriage in very limited cases with very specific grounds. Annulments can be granted, for example, if a marriage is a result of coercion by a party outside the marriage, as a result of fraud perpetrated by one party against the other party, or if one spouse is found to be mentally incapable due to mental problems and/or drug abuse.
- Conscious uncoupling – Popularized by Gwyneth Paltrow, conscious uncoupling refers to ending a romantic relationship such as a marriage in a way in which the two parties can remain friends. The underlying goal of conscious uncoupling is to remain optimistic and believe that the separation is a positive event for both parties.
- Divorce mediation – Divorce mediation is a form of resolving divorce disputes in a way that enables both parties to cast aside differences and reach mutually beneficial agreements for the most amicable outcome.
Divorce mediation represents an alternative to divorce in the courtroom which allows couples to develop agreements that benefit both of their unique circumstances. If you are going through a divorce, you can seek a third party mediator through divorce mediation. The mediator will sit down with you and your spouse to discuss and resolve common divorce-related issues to keep things civil. Divorce mediation is typically less stressful, less expensive, and faster than divorce trials.
Divorce Counseling (Divorce Therapy)
If you are engaged in divorce proceedings, have already been through divorce, and/or are struggling with life after divorce, you may wish to seek divorce counseling. Divorce counseling is also known as divorce therapy. Divorce counseling or divorce therapy is a relatively new concept that can help recent divorcees seek help and advice if they so need.
Get Help with Divorce in Colorado
If you need help with getting a divorce, going through a divorce, have questions about divorce mediation, or want to inquire about divorce counseling, contact South Denver Law. Our legal team will consult with you about your divorce in Colorado and discuss your best options to help you through difficult situations with the best possible outcome.