Who Initiates Divorce?

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that from 1975 to 1988 in the US, in families with children present, wives file for divorce in approximately two-thirds of cases. In 1975, 71.4% of the cases were filed by women, and in 1988, 65% were filed by women.

According to a study published in the American Law and Economics Review, women currently file slightly more than two-thirds of divorce cases in the US. There is some variation among states, and the numbers have also varied over time, with about 60% of filings by women in most of the 19th century, and over 70% by women in some states just after no-fault divorce was introduced, according to the paper. Evidence is given that among college-educated couples, the divorce filing rate by women approaches 90%.

In their study titled "Child Custody Policies and Divorce Rates in the US," Kuhn and Guidubaldi find it reasonable to conclude that women anticipate advantages to being single, rather than remaining married.

When women anticipate a clear gender bias in the courts regarding custody, they expect to be the primary residential parent for the children and the resulting financial child support, maintaining the marital residence, receiving half of all marital property, and gaining total freedom to establish new social relationships. In their detailed analysis of divorce rates, Khun and Guidubaldi conclude that acceptance of joint physical custody may reduce divorce. States whose family law policies, statutes, or judicial practice encourage joint custody have shown a greater decline in their divorce rates than those that favor sole custody.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Divorce".  

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