Divorce and Remarriage

Who gets divorced? How does divorce affect parental relationships with children?

What are remarriages like? How are they similar to and different from first marriages?

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Country 1990 percentage of marriage that end in divorce 1995 percentage of marriage that end in divorce 2000 percentage of marriage that end in divorce 2005 percentage of marriage that end in divorce 2008 percentage of marriage that end in divorce 2011 percentage of marriage that end in divorce
United States 49 50 50 49 54 54
Japan 22 26 34 38 1 35
France 38 48 38 50 38 55
Germany 30 40 47 58 39 49
Italy 9 9 12 19 10 25
Sweden 41 53 50 49 42 47
United Kingdom 49 68 55 45 55 47

Why do couples get divorced?

Early divorce usually preceded with negative emotions during conflict

Later divorce usually a result of a lack of positive emotions

Covenant marriage: expands the marriage contract to a lifelong commitment between the partners within a supportive community

Controversial approach designed to prevent divorce

How does divorce affect the couple?

Feelings of disappointment, rejection, etc.

“Divorce hangover”: difficult to transition to post-divorce life

Middle-aged and elderly women are at a disadvantage for remarrying

Many divorced women experience difficult financial hardships

What happens to children after a divorce?

Custody tends to be awarded to the mother

Many fathers wish to remain active in their children’s lives, but custody and child support laws make it difficult to do so

Collaborative divorce: an alternative resolution process for couples who want to negotiate a solution

Long-lasting negative effects for children experiencing divorce at any age

Poorer relations with parents; difficulties in their own romantic relationships


Divorced people typically wait about 3½ years before they remarry

Subsequent marriages have a 25% higher divorce rate

Role definitions are less clear than in a first marriage

Women are less likely to remarry than men

Women tend to benefit more from remarriage


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