Statistics of separation and divorce

"Separation", Edvard Munch

An interesting little article on the statistics of separation and divorce, found in USA Today, via the Family Law Prof Blog. The statistics come from research done at Ohio State University and obviously therefore refer to couples in America, but they seem to tally with my own experience over here. Points of note include:

  • About 79% of married couples who separate end up getting divorced;
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  • Separation is very common and is more common than immediate divorce;
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  • Most separations last one year or less, but a few drag on a decade or more before ending in divorce;
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  • The decision to separate is driven by time spent in the first marriage, and for women, by the presence of young children;
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  • The average length of a first separation is about four years, and for respondents who divorce after separating, it's three years; and
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  • After three years, the only outcomes observed are ongoing separation or divorce, i.e. no reconciliations.

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