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Top States for Divorce in 2008

  1 Comment

I know we still have a few months left in 2008, but I was curious: which U.S. States have the most divorces?  We all have hunches on which states are the most likely to grant a divorce, but I wanted facts.  So I dug deep into the LegalMatch database, and came out with more than a few surprises.


First off, over 50% of all divorces on LegalMatch are posted in the top 10 states.  52% to be exact, meaning the remaining 40 states (plus the outlying territories like Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, etc., and pseudo states like the District of Columbia) together account for 48% of the divorces on LegalMatch in 2008.  This is surprising, because LegalMatch has cases and attorneys throughout the U.S. 


Why so many divorces in the top 10 U.S. states?  Population has to be a big factor: the bigger the state, the more divorces will happen.  Since LegalMatch is an online matching service, the results may also skew towards Net savvy states.  And what about social pressures?  Some states seem to take divorce more seriously than others, applying negative stigmas, and creating extra legal hurdles for couples to jump through before they can go their separate ways. 


Enough jabber – the divorce totals, please. 


Coming in at #10 through #6, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia, and Illinois all tied with 4% each of all divorce filing on LegalMatch in 2008.  That’s a pretty good smattering of states from different parts of the country – no clear trend there. 


North Carolina and New York shared the #5 and #4 spots with 5% each of LegalMatch 2008 divorce filings.  North Carolina… really? 


Florida came in at #3 with 6% of 2008 divorce filings on LegalMatch.  I would have guessed top 3.  It’s nice to be right every so often.


And now what I consider the biggest surprise: California came in at #2, with 8% of all divorce filings on LegalMatch in 2008.   I would have pegged California as number 1, since some celebrity marriages get annulled before the best man’s speech is over. 


Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess, if you really want to leave your spouse), the #1 distinction rests with… TEXAS.  In 2008, Texas accounted for 10% of all of LegalMatch’s divorce filings.  The Lone Star state is apparently also the Lone Spouse state.

Ken LaMance


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