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Divorce trends changing culture, legal landscape

As our culture evolves from generation to generation, we see marked changes in technology, music and food trends, among others. Social trends are now showing significant differences in divorce strategies as well. Three trends have emerged in the modern divorce world, showing up in Maryland and a variety of other states.

A famous comedian once said that marriage was the leading cause of divorce. Although this may sound like an oversimplification, the basic fact that marriage rates are decreasing leads to a corresponding decrease in incidence of divorce. Many couples throughout America are simply living together in long-term relationships rather than getting married. Further, those couples who do choose to get married are doing so later in life. Experts say marriage trends are changing because of the increasing financial capability enjoyed by women in the American economy; women are no longer required to marry in order to make ends meet. This choice is changing the face of American divorce.

Another interesting trend that has emerged: Women are most likely to be the initiators of divorce. In fact, about 66 percent of divorces are filed by the wife. Women with higher economic independence are more likely to initiate the process because fewer factors are keeping them in the marriage. In the past, many spouses put up with abuse, gambling, addiction and other problems because they did not have any other choice. In today's economy, though, women are able to make their own way, removing the necessity of marriage.

Finally, so-called "gray divorces" are on the rise throughout the nation. This increase in breakups among older couples is attributed to changing cultural values, along with longer life expectancy, family financial changes and other factors.

Whether you are an older woman or a younger man, or any person in between, you need proper representation before proceeding with your modern divorce. Consider seeking the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney before beginning this process. Your lawyer can help protect your rights and delineate your responsibilities throughout your breakup.

Source:, "Not your mother's divorce: three 21st century trends" Jeff Landers, Jun. 20, 2013

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