Marriage and divorce statistics vary from state to state. But what is the divorce rate in California? Divorce rates are difficult to pinpoint, but you may have heard the commonly cited statistic that 50% of marriages in California end in divorce. Some suggest that California’s rate may be high as 10% over the national average, sitting at 60%.
According to U.S. government statistics1, 6% of the population got married in 2021. And 2.5% of the population got divorced in that same year.
While there are numerous divorce studies with conflicting statistics, the data points to two periods during a marriage when divorces are most common: years 1 – 2 and years 5 – 8. During those two high-risk timeframes, two years in particular that stand out as the most common years for divorce — years 7 and 8.
But what is the most common age to get divorced? The average age for a couple entering their first divorce is 30 years old. And 60% of divorces involve spouses between the ages of 25 and 39. Women are more likely to file for divorce than men. The highest divorce rate is for African-American women aged 50 to 59. Conversely, the lowest divorce rate is for Asian women between 25 and 29 years old.2
It is of interest that the divorce rate for heterosexual couples is double that of same-sex couples.
Divorce for Older Couples is on the Rise
Grey divorce refers to a divorce involving individuals who are 50 years or older. And among couples in that age range, the divorce rate has doubled over the past two decades. The past few years have focused attention on more than a few high-profile divorces such as Bill and Melinda Gates and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.
The reasons may differ but what is similar is that grey divorce is not the same as a typical divorce. Most grey divorce clients are retired, near retirement, or have reasons why they aren’t yet retired.
Beyond the Trends
It is no surprise, that marital infidelity is the number one reason for divorce. According to a study from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, as many as 25% – of married men and 15% – of married women have had extramarital affairs.
There are all types of reasons for divorce. Some of the most commonly cited causes include financial disagreements, lack of intimacy, lack of equality in the marriage, poor communication, addiction, and abuse.
The rate of divorce after 10 years is 48% for those who marry before the age of 18. However, the rate is just 25% for those who marry after the age of 25. And as far as divorce after 25 years of marriage, the primary reasons appear to be a lack of communication, unresolved issues from the past, and a lack of mutual growth.
Having financial clarity, finding a support system, and shunning negativity can help couples weather marital storms. The family law firm of Buncher Family Law has significant experience in all of these matters and can help guide you toward the best course of action for your specific case.
1 Source: CDC/NCHS, National Vital Statistics System. Divorce rates by State: 1990, 1995, and 1999-2021
2 The Growing Racial and Ethnic Divide in U.S. Marriage Patterns (R. Kelly Raley , Megan M. Sweeney , Danielle Wondra) The Future of Children, Princeton University, Volume 25, Number 2, Fall 2015, pp. 89-109