Similar to when you turn to WebMD to learn what may be ailing your body only to be terrified by your self-diagnosis, reading flashy headlines and exaggerated statistics isn’t helpful to your divorce process. By becoming more educated on what the reality of divorce is, you can avoid worrying about myths and misconceptions and instead focus on how to create the best life for you and your family.
- Half of All Marriages End In Divorce
As I’ve mentioned before, many people are still claiming that half of all marriages end in divorce. However, more recent reports prove that “happily ever after” is much more likely to occur these days. The divorce rate peaked in 1979 and has declined by 24 percent since then, according to The New York Times. Divorce rates were 5.3 divorces per thousand people in 1981 and dropped significantly to 3.6 percent in 2011. Seventy-six percent of couples go on to celebrate their 10th year anniversary!
- Divorce Has Lasting, Negative Effects on Kids
One of the most common reasons spouses cite for staying in an unhappy marriage is the potential negative effect a divorce could have on their children. However, research published by Scientific America found that the majority of children’s negative reactions (such as anxiety, anger, shock or disbelief) diminish or disappear by the second year and most children endure divorce very well.
The research also revealed ways to reduce the problems children experience during divorce, such as limiting a child’s exposure to conflict and having the child spend time with both parents, rather than one parent having sole custody. Instead of worrying about “what could be,” couples should learn from research and create their own reality, rather than giving in to outdated stereotypes.
- If You Committed Adultery, Your Divorce Case is Doomed
Adultery was once a death knell in a divorce case. While few people condone adultery, it’s not a reason to resign yourself to receiving a poor settlement. Poor conduct during a marriage is rarely taken into consideration when distributing marital property. Even if adultery was present during a “no-fault” case, your infidelity will likely not affect the property settlement. Adultery is so common these days attorneys rarely recommend using adultery as a fault for divorce as you rarely gain anything from it.
Rather than avoid marriage altogether as you worry you’ll fall victim to a falsely high divorce rate, or avoid divorce because you don’t want to emotionally harm your children, or condemn yourself to a poor divorce outcome, keep in mind that every marriage and divorce is different.
What used to be the norm 50 years ago is no longer the standard. Rather than worrying about becoming another statistic, do what feels right in your relationship. If divorce is the path you choose to take, we’ll be here to support you throughout the entire process.