Law Office of Jeffrey D. Stearman, Esq.

California Divorce Rate at 75%- Not Any Longer

In 2012, it was reported that the divorce rate in California was at a staggering 75%. Times have really changed, especially with the ever-changing marriage habits of the different age groups, such as the Baby Boomers (age 50 and older); Gen X (mid 1960’s to early 1980’s); Millennials (or Gen Y) 1977 – 1995 or Gen Z (mid to late 1990’s to early 2010’s. And when you throw the Covid-19 lockdown into the mix, the divorce rate almost came to a standstill. Dropping divorce rates appear to be more associated with the younger generations. Or they are simply more cautious in getting married and therefore wait longer to get marriage or not marry at all. Many are waiting until they feel more financially secure before getting married. It has been recently reported that the divorce rate in California is at an all time low of approximately 9%.

Many factors are attributed to this. During 2020-2021, many, if not all courts were closed for in-person hearings. The courts were experiencing extreme shortage of staff to even process paperwork to start divorce proceedings. This caused lengthy delays. Everything was being done remotely via Zoom or other similar platform. Just as the courts started to open back up for in-person hearings in late 2021 to early 2022, then we got hit with the Omicron variant. Courts began shutting down again for in-person hearings or limiting what hearings were to be held in person. However, even before we were hit with Covid-19, the divorce rate in California was trending downward.

Other related factors that led to the drop in the divorce rate were the drop in marriages. Marriages planned for 2020 were cancelled or postponed to 2021 or later. Marriages were up in 2021 and this is expected to continue into 2022. This upward trend is expected to fall back into a more normal pattern by 2023. The younger age groups are waiting longer before getting married, or foregoing marriage altogether. With fewer marriages, you have fewer divorces. Also, since many times it can cost more to divorce than it does to marry, many simply cannot afford to divorce right now. With the Covid-19 lockdown, many couples were together with each other more than ever. This caused tension and destruction of the marital relationship, leading to divorce or desire to divorce. If marriages tend to decline, then so will divorce, since you don’t divorce from someone if you were never married to them. Some studies have shown that the younger generations’ view of marriage, career, education and finances have caused them to marry later in life, if at all. It will be interesting to see the statistics going forward on the divorce rate in the next 10 years or so.

Our Office Is Fully Operational At This Time

Attorney Stearman continues to operate virtually at this time, as he has done during the entire COVID-19 crisis, enabling him to continue to assist clients in their legal needs by way of video conference via Zoom. He is also now able to meet with clients in-person in the safety of his office conference room. So if you have a family law issue or want to start the divorce process, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Stearman at (714) 871-7778 or he can be reached by email at [email protected].