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No Fault Divorce Statistics


No fault divorce statistics which are being regularly updated clearly point out that divorce rates in USA in different states have increase by 20-25% owing to the changes in the grounds of divorce since 1969 (it was the year that no-fault divorce laws were passed) A study by Justec Research in Virgina in 1989 reveals that one of the main reasons why people were divorcing each other more was because the no-fault divorce laws permitted them to end the marriage even if it is unilaterally decided by one spouse to do so. The other spouse just does not get the chance to save the marriage as the law requires them to end the marriage if the other partner is keen to do so!

No-fault divorce data
  • According to the book The Abolition of Marriage, by Mary Gallagher, 80% of the divorces that are having no-fault grounds is actually unilaterally decided by one spouse to terminate the marriage.

  • Around 57,000 extra divorces are happening in a year in USA and are known to be due to the direct impact of no-fault divorce custody laws. This information is mentioned in page number 1028, in The journal of marriage and the family. (August 1999)

  • In a Stanford Business study by Professor Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson, it is mentioned that there was a significant rise in divorce rates in almost all the states of USA which had accepted no-fault divorce laws, in the first decade when the laws were passed. Then the trend reversed. This they explained that such a “divorce revolution” occurred in the first ten years because there was a lot of demand to break the marriages which were not allowed to do so unless the grounds were “fault”. Soon the trend slowed down as things got stable. In fact, according to these researchers, female suicides and domestic violence declined by 20% in the 20 years after no-fault divorce laws were passed compared to the scene when only fault-grounds could be used as divorce cause. This could be because now women and men could opt out of the marriage if they had irreconcilable differences or if the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

  • A careful study carried out by economist Amanda Honeycutt of University of Maryland suggests that there are 10% less chances of children staying with both their biological parents after passing of liberal no-fault divorce laws, than the children who lived in the times when the divorce ground could only be fault grounds. She carried out this study in 50 states across USA.

  • A different set of statistics of no-fault divorce laws impacts on the financial conditions of women reveal that in 1986, 34% of divorced female-headed families with children whose custody the mother had demanded for, are below federal government’s poverty line. Thus, data on the impact of no-fault divorce on the gender issue explains that suicides among women have reduced but due to insufficient child support or spousal support, their financial conditions have become abysmal in many cases.

  • No fault divorce information indicate, according to Gruber (2004) that as a result of no-fault divorce laws, there has been a negative impact on children involved in the divorce, less stable marriages among children and even suicidal tendencies among children.
Whatever the impacts of the no-fault divorce laws, data on this issue explains that just a law can not be held responsible for breaking up marriages and this could be just one factor why couples are divorcing.


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