Elizabeth Taylor, the perfect woman if there ever was one, married eight times. Larry King, TV legend, also walked down the aisle eight times. Like it or not, no one gender has a monopoly on marriage and divorce. Stereotypes exist for a reason, but something so simple to define something as serious as divorce really doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, if you didn’t marry a lot, you married good and died early, the prime example of which is Grace Kelly. The former Princess of Monaco hit the marriage jackpot by taking Rainier III, but even though they were together for 30 years, it seems like her life was still too short.
It comes to mind that famous statistic about divorces: 40 to 50 percent of married couples will dissolve their unbreakable bond in the end. Anyone who’s planning on spending their life with “the one” may be trembling in their boots knowing that their marriage will ultimately fail. It’s cruel that a connection as binding as a marriage will only end in bad blood.
But, once and for all, it’s time to clear the fog and stare at the truth about divorce rates in America. If you’re going through the same ordeal, at least you’ll know that your marriage wasn’t doomed from the start. Something went wrong, and it’s not because someone said so.
Exploring the Likelihoods
A 2014 study, named Breaking Up is Hard to Count, is probably the best reference in determining the real divorce rates in the United States. Rather than generalizing all marriages and all divorces, they divided it into four categories: crude divorce rate, percent ever divorced, refined divorce rate, and cohort measure rate. The last is the one that matters to most, as it’s the equation that shows the 50% divorce statistic. The researchers reserved the rate for first-time marriages, but delving deeper into the study, they actually pinpointed older couples as the core demographic in this statistic. Baby boomers remain the highly divorced-prone generation, and Gen-Xers are at the lower 42 to 45 percent bracket.
Nevertheless, the researchers aren’t certain that this divorce rate for younger couples are accurate going into the future. It may even be lower, as they didn’t consider future situations in their study. They listed a couple of things, however, that can contribute to a divorce. It’s so alarming that many of these situations are common; like, married couples living together kind of common.
Married couples with one party wanting a child and the other doesn’t are at a 50% risk; a significant difference in age makes certain couples twice as likely to divorce, which is the same with smoking couples; and the craziest of which is that they stated cohabiting couples have a 50 to 80 percent higher likelihood of getting divorced. Living together, a normal (necessary) situation for married couples, is a high factor for divorce. What should people believe now? That having the same smartphone, playing the same apps or liking the same food is a better agent of marital success than traditional marriage practices?
If there’s a focal lesson in this study, it’s that there’s no guarantee in marriage. Much like every endeavor, it requires work, total commitment, and yes, pure dumb luck. Furthermore, divorce can come from the simplest, most normal of reasons, and sometimes, it comes from truly awful actions.
Your Lawyer’s Role
Love and law, two aspects of society and human life, differs very much from each other. It’s most evident in divorces, where lawyers are a necessary presence. Every marriage, regardless of how in love the couple is, is a legal bond. To dissolve it, you need a lawyer; it’s always been like that and it still is today.
Nevertheless, their roles have been as a kind of enforcer. What you want, they’ll represent. It’s their job to get you an arrangement that favors you. If you want everything, they’ll fight for everything. You do have to remember that using your lawyer as a stick to poke your spouse never ends well.
As an alternative, why not use them as an agents of peace? What happened in your marriage still matters, but you want the divorce to get away. Your intentions are probably not always for the best of your other half, but getting away is the goal. Being amicable, at least, is the quickest, cleanest way out. More than that, it’s the key to keeping the legal expenses down. Believe it or not, it can go as low as $250 if you prioritize the right things.
How is That Even Possible?
Divorce sucks, and the only good thing that may come out of it is that you come out the other side relatively scot-free, financially and emotionally. No one can guarantee you won’t go through the wild emotional ride brought by ending a marriage, but you can keep the costs at a bare minimum. There are divorce lawyers out there who charge as low as $100 in representing uncontested divorces. But, generally, this lawyer focuses his/her practice in high-volume divorce.
As ideal as that situation is, it’s more likely you’ll be going to a regular divorce lawyer in Nassau County or wherever it is you live. In this case, which is the most common in the United States, divorce will still cost you a lot. But, being peaceful with each other still has its benefits. For one, you’ll be in the lower bracket of divorcing couples. Your final legal fee can go up to $30,000 or less. If that seems high, the cost ceiling for the other bracket of divorcing couples is $100,000.
Nobody ever said divorce is a peach, and now that you’re hearing raw truths about breaking a marriage, you should know that it takes as much commitment as getting married in the first place. Ironic, but considering everything that is at stake, it’s true.
The Pain, or Salvation, of Remarrying
If there’s anything more remarkable than Elizabeth Taylor’s eight marriages, it’s that she married the same man twice. Richard Burton enjoyed a turbulent 11 years with the purple-eyed actress, which everyone knows didn’t end well. Let this be a lesson for everyone who think remarrying would be a lot easier. Marrying the same person or a new one doesn’t become easier just because you have prior experience in marriage. You will bicker and love each other, but it’s no guarantee of a lasting relationship.
This is why divorce is a commitment. It’s such a final act that going back to it seems backwards, literally. Love will always be there, but hedge your experience against it. Do you want the same thing all over again, to feel inadequate again? Once you get out of your divorce, give yourself time to decompress. It’s not good to be alone again, but you wanted to be alone. Now, that you’ve got your wish, use it to your liking. Spend time with your children, reconnect with friends and family, rekindle your old hobbies; everything you do that’s disconnected from your marriage will help you cope.
Parting well is a very good start that not all divorcing couples enjoy. Too many of them are too busy trying to put their feet on their spouse’s neck, and end up sad all the same despite everything. Ask yourself, is it really worth it to fight more? Isn’t the point to fight less?
Finality Before the Start
As painful as it is to admit, both of you have to sacrifice even more to get through your divorce peacefully. No one likes it when someone tells them what’s right and what’s wrong with their marriage, even a judge. So, even before your lawyers bring the matter to a judge, try settling things outside the court. It’s still important to be with your lawyer, but it’s not as important as ensuring that the proceedings wouldn’t have to be so taxing like it is in famous breakups.
End things as amicably as you can, but don’t let your spouse take advantage of you. If you feel that what your spouse claims is your own, don’t be afraid to put a stop to it, especially with your lawyer in there. It’s better than you recognize each other’s boundaries, and doesn’t encroach on each other’s possessions. Any lawyer will tell you that vengeance irrevocably feels good, but they also know winning a battle doesn’t win you the war. Military truths aside, listen to them when they try to talk sense into you. They’ve been in the same situation before, and what they want in the end is the best for you and your children.
The freedom after a divorce can be overwhelming, but you’ll be a lot wiser by then. Use your newfound time to assess what went wrong, and if possible, how things can be better between you and your now divorced spouse. Sharing a bond such as marriage makes a mark, so rather than to be spiteful, just enjoy the simple joy of being civil with each other.