Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties (unlike annulment which declares the marriage null and void). Divorce laws vary considerably around the world but in most places, including Maryland, divorce procedures require the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process.
Divorce Rates in America
For the past decade, the overall American divorce rate has remained stable, at around 50% for first marriages. The statistics become more depressing for each successive marriage, with 65% of second marriages ending in divorce and even higher rates for third marriages and beyond. Divorce rate statistics also show that 3.6 to 5% of marriages are ending every year, cumulating in a large portion of adults who have personally experienced divorce at some point in their lives, and many are experiencing it each year.
More statistics about divorce:
- The divorce rate in 2010 was 3.6 per 1,000 of the total population, down from 4.0 in 2000.
- The marriage rate in 2010 was 6.8 per 1,000 of the total population, which was also down from 8.2 in 2000.
- The state with the highest reported divorce rate was Nevada, at 5.9 (per 1,000). But this was significantly lower than ten years ago, when the state’s rate was 9.9 (per 1,000).
- The state with the lowest reported divorce rate was Iowa, at 2.4 (per 1,000). This was lower than 2000, when their divorce rate was 3.3 (per 1,000)
- 43.7% of custodial mothers and 56.2% of custodial fathers were either separated or divorced. And in 2002, 7.8 million Americans paid about $40 billion in child and/or spousal support.
Divorce Rates in Maryland – Surprisingly Low!
Maryland and Washington, D.C., as it turns out, are two places in the nation where divorce is relatively low! According to the statistics, the average divorce rate in the United States is 3.6 divorces per year for every thousand people. In Maryland and Washington, D.C., the rate is both only 2.8. In Maryland, the rate has been steadily falling since 2000, where the rate was 3.3. Washington, D.C.’s rate however has fluctuated, seeing rates as low as 1.7 in 2007 and 1.8 in 2004.
Today’s Divorce Process
Divorcing, of course, is rarely a pleasant prospect for the parties involved. Thanks to modernizing legislation in the past few decades, however, couples in Maryland that do choose to divorce have more options than ever before, allowing those who wish to do it amicably to be able to move through the process quickly as possible. On the other hand, there are also laws to ensure that neither party is taken advantage of in the event that the divorce becomes highly contested. With a solid understanding of the law, navigating the court system during a divorce does not have to be any more stressful than the actual divorce already is.
The traditional contested, court-based divorce process can be time-consuming and often very costly for both husband and wife. However, couples can choose to go the route of uncontested divorce or no fault divorce . This provides a cooperative process in which the spouses, with the help of a mediation attorney, work together to settle issues such as who will get the house, how will child custody be arranged, and what kind of alimony or child support will be included in the divorce settlement.