Facts You Should Know About Divorce

November 6, 2018  |  
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divorce facts and statistics


Divorce is emotional. It’s personal. It’s life-altering. But, it’s also financial. A lot of couples have no idea what they’re up against when it comes to paperwork, fees, lawyers, and taxes when they decide to call it quits. In fact, anyone who is considering untying the knot may want to know that starting in 2019, alimony payments will no longer be tax deductible. That’s just one of many surprises that can come along when you choose to no longer be married to your spouse. Divorce is rarely clean and nobody expects it to be easy. But many couples wind up feeling that simply the process of getting divorced and some practical aftermath is even more emotionally draining than the concept of splitting with their spouse. If you’ve begun researching lawyers and tracking your partner’s mistakes, here are divorce facts and statistics you should know.


divorce facts and statistics

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You’ll need a separate estate attorney

You won’t just need a divorce lawyer to get you through this change. You’ll also need an estate attorney to create your estate plan or living trust and designate the new health care power of attorney. Your divorce lawyer can refer you to one.

divorce facts and statistics

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Children as your dependents

Child custody battles can have this large implication on taxes: only the parent named custodian can claim the children as dependents.

divorce facts and statistics

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Ownership of life insurance

If you were the beneficiary of your soon-to-be ex’s life insurance plan, make sure you’re also the owner of said plan. If you aren’t, then your ex can easily change the beneficiary (say, to a new spouse) at any time.


divorce facts and statistics

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This age/gender gets divorced the most

Men aged 20 to 24 are getting the most divorces. Nearly 40 percent of this demographic get divorced.

divorce facts and statistics

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This age gets divorced the least

Men and women age 35 to 39 aren’t getting many divorces. Only 5.1 percent of women in this age group and 6.5 percent of men get a divorce.

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African Americans face a higher risk

African Americans face a 1.5 percent higher risk of divorce than whites. That being said, this demographic also marries less often.


divorce facts and statistics

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Relax, you’ll probably remarry

Around 75 percent of divorced people remarry, so you will probably walk down the aisle again.

divorce facts and statistics

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Being together long doesn’t improve chances

The probability of a first marriage ending within the first five years is 20 percent, and that goes up to 33 percent by 10 years. So “getting over the hump” or a seven-year itch doesn’t necessarily improve chances of staying together.


divorce facts and statistics

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Facebook can cause divorce

Roughly 25 percent of couples fight about Facebook weekly and divorce lawyers report that social media is where many couples find their incriminating evidence against a partner.


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Each additional marriage may bring divorce

A third marriage is 73 percent likely to end in divorce, while a second marriage is looking at a 60 percent chance and a first one is facing a 41 percent likelihood of divorce.


divorce facts and statistics

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Your parents play a role

Those with happy parents are less likely to divorce. So, if you’re wondering whether or not your childhood affects your love life—it does.


divorce facts and statistics

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Your education also plays a role

College-educated individuals are more likely (13 percent) to divorce.

divorce facts and statistics

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You’ll split the retirement plan

If you were relying on a partner benefit from your spouse’s retirement plan, you’ll need to reach an agreement known as a qualified domestic relations order. Through that, the court will split up your ex’s retirement plan and you’ll receive those funds now, rather than having to wait until actual retirement.

divorce facts and statistics

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You won’t be taxed on the retirement withdrawal

Splitting up a retirement fund for divorce is the only circumstance under which you can skip the 10 percent penalty fee you’d usually face for early withdrawal. However, the income will still be taxed unless put into an IRA.


divorce facts and statistics

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College aid may be easier to come by

The free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA only requires financial information from the custodial parent, which is good news for children of divorced parents seeking help with paying for college.


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