Number One Reason To Live In Illinois: The Divorce Rate?

Anyone breathing air in the United States of America has probably heard the tidings of the apocalypse by now. Marriages are failing at a rate of about 50 percent. The end times must be coming! But guess what? Whether or not your marriage is likely to fail might be determined by where you live. A new report found Illinois to have one of the lowest divorce rates in the U.S., with only 6.6 percent of couples opting to call it quits. That’s only just over 17 divorced individuals per every 1,000 married.

An anonymous lawyer at the said that “most clients who believe in monogamous relationships aren’t interested in moving from place to place based on marriage rates. But when our clients are making big life changes anyway, we sometimes mention that a new home might be in the cards. Not everyone likes the heat in New Mexico. The grass is always greener on the other side, as it were.”

Founder Joshua Stern of Illinois-based family law firm Stern Perkoski said, “People think a lot about the cash flow and when and where they’re going to see the kids. Inevitably, if you get divorced, you’re not taking two incomes that are supporting one household and asking them to support two households. Usually, people see a drop in their available cash flow.”

Why is the Illinois divorce rate so low?

The pessimistic would likely hypothesize that conservative laws might squeeze divorcing couples for more money than they can afford. Or maybe the financial incentives simply outweigh all other factors combined. Marriage and relationship counselor Victoria Baum said “there’s no simple answer” to the question of why.

There are a few plausible explanations, though. For starters, many Illinois couples tend to cohabitate long before pulling the trigger on marriage — which gives them a pretty good idea what marriage would be like. That might make good couples more likely to stay together and get married. It might also make poor matches more likely to split apart before marriage is even in the cards.

There’s another explanation, too. Most men in Illinois are married around age 30, while women are married at 29. Two or three decades ago, couples were married at a much younger age. Now they wait. Some experts contend that maturity might have something to do with the low divorce rates in Illinois.

Family therapist Farrah Walker said, “Older couples have had time to develop a shared idea of what they want their marriage to look like. Having kids automatically creates strain in relationships; it’s less strenuous when your relationship has had longer to develop. You’re getting married older in a different stage of life. You had time to develop some of those habits in a relationship prior to having kids.”

Could the divorce rates be even lower? Experts say yes, of course they could. The key to making a marriage last is obviously communication. That’s why pulling the trigger on marriage counseling before problems develop could also reduce the rate of decay.

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