The newest statistics for divorce in Florida have been released and the news is positive. Since 2016, the divorce rate in the Sunshine State has dropped from 3.9 divorces per 1,000 people to 3.0 divorces per 1,000 people in 2020. While the pandemic made it more difficult to access divorce resources, the trend in divorces was already falling before the pandemic hit. This means that the number might be slightly up in 2021, but the overall downward movement in the past decade is definitely a good thing.
A Ten-Year Low
In 2008, more than 10 women out of 1,000 in Florida were getting a divorce every year, but in 2018, that number dropped to eight women out of 1,000. The number ticked up slightly in 2019 to 8.1 per 1,000, but the number is still significantly lower than a decade earlier, when the rate sat at 9.9 per 1,000. One reason for this decline is that Florida has an older population than much of the rest of the country and the divorce rate is lower among older couples than younger couples.
Factors Contributing to the Lower Divorce Rate in Florida
There are other factors at play in lowering the divorce rate in Florida besides the older population. One of these factors is the economy. Not only is divorce expensive, but it’s also cheaper to stay married and share the household financial responsibilities as well. Couples are finding it difficult to afford a place to stay, food, and other expenses without a second income, and if children are in the picture, they compound the issue.
When you add in the costs of dividing assets, paying alimony and child support, and paying for a separate house or apartment, many couples discover they simply can’t afford to get divorced. When the economy improves, the rate may go up unless other factors keeping the divorce rate low outweigh the financial aspect.
For example, people are getting married later in life, which gives them a better chance at maturing, getting themselves into a good financial position, and completing their education before saying their vows. All three of these qualities are common in marriages that last. Millennials and Gen Z are in no hurry to tie the knot, and that is giving them time to find a truly compatible partner.
A factor that is unique to Florida that might be partially responsible for the lower divorce rate over the past decade is a law that was passed in 2010 that requires couples to obtain legal advice before they can file for divorce. This makes couples more aware of the implications of divorce and that they may want to consider working to resolve their marital problems instead of splitting up. While this isn’t exactly divorce counseling, it does provide information to couples about divorce procedures and the aftermath that they may not be aware of.
Whatever the reasons are behind the decreasing divorce rate in Florida, it’s a positive move in the right direction. When couples can make it through the tough times, they often come out stronger, which is great for everyone involved.