Marriage and divorce are no picnic, but these 4 fun facts might help lighten the load

Marriage and divorce are no picnic, but these 4 fun facts might help lighten the load

Did you know that half of marriages end in divorce? Did you also know that this commonly cited statistic is not exactly accurate?

When it comes to understanding marriage and divorce statistics, it’s important to know that many factors influence these numbers and that some “facts” need to be fact-checked.

In this blog, we tackle some facts about divorce that are closer to the truth than “the mother always gets custody.”

Fact 1: A quiet separation doesn’t mean no one hears about it

A quiet divorce is a fuss-free separation. For celebrities, where every move is scrutinized by the paparazzi and reported by influencers and content creators, a quiet divorce is a luxury. It's a savvy PR move that allows them to maintain their public image and focus on their careers without getting bogged down in messy public disputes.

Some celebs do quiet separations right, while some don’t.

The most widely known fact about Meryl Streep is that she’s a great actress with the most Oscar nominations. A little-known fact about her is that she’s separated from the sculptor Don Gummer. Besides being a great actress, Meryl is known for handling quiet separations remarkably well. Jada Pinkett-Smith, who famously disclosed her quiet separation from Will Smith to the public, could take a page from her book.

Natalie Portman also recently divorced her husband of 11 years, Benjamin Millepied. Despite being reported by various media outlets, news of their separation was relatively subdued. This quieter approach to divorce is beneficial for their children. A low-key divorce is akin to having a disagreement in a library rather than a crowded stadium. While children may still hear a whisper or two, it's far less disruptive to their well-being than a full-blown shouting match.

Regardless, one study cited that a good (i.e., quiet) divorce doesn’t make it less impactful on children of divorces. In any case, if you prefer a quiet separation, take inspiration from Meryl and Natalie rather than Jada.

Fact 2: 50% of marriages do not end in divorce

Contrary to popular belief, the notion that 50% of marriages end in divorce is often misunderstood. This statistic primarily applies to first marriages.
Some studies suggest that the majority of marriages are destined to fail, leading to a rather bleak outlook. After all, it’s much easier to pull random statistics out of thin air than to perform actual research.

The fact is, there’s a darker side to the statistic regarding failed marriages: the divorce rates for couples in their second and third marriages skyrocket to staggering levels: 60% for second marriages and a whopping 70% for those who've been on their third trip down the aisle.

A divorce statistic you can trust is one that says it’s difficult to accurately measure divorce rates.

Fact 3: Women initiate divorces more often than men

When it comes to pulling the plug on marriage, it appears that the ladies are leading the charge.

A study conducted by M. Rosenfeld from Stanford University found that women initiated nearly 69% of all divorces among approximately 2,000 surveyed couples. Why are women hitting the “eject” button on marriage more often than men, you may ask?

It all has to do with independence. With more job opportunities and higher incomes, women are feeling less financially tied down, making divorce a less risky move. Plus, thanks to the magic of no-fault divorces, splitting up has never been simpler — just swipe left on that marriage certificate and you're free as a bird.

Men might be reaping the benefits of marriage — better health, longer life, and a domestic caretaker — but when it comes to calling it quits, it's the ladies who are calling the shots.

Fact 4: The length of courtship may define marriage success

In October 2023, the news of Jodie Turner-Smith's divorce from Joshua Jackson surprised the public. The revelation was particularly unexpected because just a day before, on September 13, the couple had appeared together at New York Fashion Week, smiling for photographers. Insiders revealed that Joshua was taken aback by her decision to file for divorce, as he had not been aware of her unhappiness.

Splits like theirs, where one spouse is completely blindsided by the other's decision to file for divorce, aren't uncommon. And considering how quickly they married after dating, it's not surprising that they eventually divorced. They met in October 2018 and married in August 2019 — their dating period didn't even last a year.

According to a recent study, one of the factors that people believe could have salvaged their marriage was waiting longer before getting married. Out of those surveyed, a whopping 63% expressed that having a clearer grasp of the commitment involved in marriage prior to saying "I do" might have preserved their relationship.

It could have been worse for Mr. Jackson — he could’ve gotten served divorce papers while at his workplace like what happened to Olivia Wilde.

Related reading: What do you do when you get served legal papers in an inappropriate way?

LaGrandeur & Williams can make your divorce case in Washington State as smooth as possible. And that’s a fact. Visit our law offices in Renton or leave us a message.