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Acceptance of divorce rises, while divorce rates fall

Divorce used to be seen as a shameful subject in this nation -- at the very best, it was a sign of a personal failure. At it's worst, it was seen as a moral failing as well.

Those days are now long past -- divorce is now seen as morally acceptable by most people -- including among married couples and older Americans, both groups that have traditionally opposed easy divorces.

Despite the massive shift in the nation's moral code over the decades, American are actually divorcing less than often than they were in previous decades when divorce was seen as less socially acceptable.

California was the first state to grant no-fault divorces, way back in the 1960s when the majority of Americans still felt that divorce should be difficult. By the 1980s, the rest of the nation had followed California's lead -- leading to a national epidemic of divorces.

Gradually, however, divorces have been declining. In 2015, divorce rates dropped to their lowest in 35 years. Meanwhile, acceptance of divorce as a means to end an unhappy marriage has risen to more than 70 percent.

This shift in attitudes coincides with a shift in acceptance for same-sex marriages and the cohabitation of unmarried couples both with and without children. Experts suggest that the timing is not coincidental -- the general shift toward the acceptance of all these things together may signal a general cultural shift. Both marriage and divorce are increasingly being understood as legal processes -- marriage formalizes existing relationships and divorce formally dissolves relationships that have fallen apart.

Whatever the reasons behind the shift in attitudes, it may make it easier on you emotionally if you're contemplating divorce to know that you enjoy the social support of many others -- whether they've been in your position or not.

For more information about divorce or to discuss your options, contact an attorney today.

Source: Hot Air, "Americans Increasingly OK With Divorce, But Actually Doing It Less," Andrew Malcolm, July 09, 2017

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