NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Divorces Rising

January 14, 2003

While national statistics on divorce rates generally lag several years, court records and localized surveys show that divorce filings are on the rise in many parts of the country. Some experts predicted, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, many troubled couples would opt to stay together for financial support.

  • But 78 percent of divorce attorneys report their caseloads are increasing or remain steady.
  • A review of court records in five cities, including Philadelphia and Houston, show no evidence of a decrease in filings.
  • In New York state, filings were up 4 percent in late 2002, compared with the year before.
  • In Santa Fe, N.M., and surrounding counties, divorce filings have climbed 13 percent.

A new study of combat veterans from World War II through Vietnam shows that vets were 62 percent more likely than others of their generation to dissolve their marriages.

The overall divorce rate, measured by the proportion of splits to marriages in any given year, soared to near 50 percent between the mid-'60s and early '80s -- and has remained steady since.

Source: Jeffrey Zaslow, "Divorce Makes a Comeback," Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2003.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB1042486948177423584-search,00.html


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