If you’re a married man or woman living in Florida, there’s good news on the divorce front. You’re less likely to get a divorce now than you were a year ago. The overall divorce rate in Florida fell to a five-year low of 3.0 divorces per 1,000 people in 2020. This is a decrease of 0.5 divorces per 1,000 people over 2019’s numbers. If you’re a married woman in Florida, the news is even better. Divorce rates among Florida women are down to 8.1 per 1,000 women compared to 10.6 per 1,000 women in 2008.
Why Are Divorces Decreasing in the Sunshine State?
While there are no concrete reasons behind the divorce rate decrease in Florida over the past few years, there are some theories. Number one on the list is the economy, and this reason isn’t a positive one for couples’ happiness, but it could be causing married people to reconsider divorce. Couples are choosing to stay together because they can’t afford to live apart, especially if there are children involved.
Other reasons why the divorce rate is creeping downward in Florida include an older population (older couples tend to get divorced less often), millennials and Gen Zers are marrying later in life (getting them into a better place financially and emotionally), better communication skills (these skills have been prioritized in schools and workplaces), and Florida’s law that people must get legal advice before filing for divorce (couples get information about the implications of divorce they may not have known).
Florida Compared to the U.S.
The divorce rate for Florida couples is headed in the opposite direction of the overall U.S. divorce rate. In 2020, the U.S. divorce rate increased to 3.0 per 1,000 people, up from 2.9 in 2019. This means that right now, the U.S. divorce rate and the Florida divorce rate are both at 3.0 divorces per 1,000 people, but the trends are simply crossing as the U.S. rate increases and the Florida rate decreases.
One factor that could be behind the increase in divorces nationwide is the pandemic. Many people found it extremely difficult to live with their spouse during quarantine, which served to magnify marital problems. Additionally, the strain of losing jobs during this time could have put additional pressure on marriages and the couples just weren’t able to reverse course, even after the height of the pandemic passed.
In some states, though, access to divorce services may have been limited, so some couples may have put off getting a divorce until 2021. If that is the case, some state statistics on divorce could be artificially low in 2020. For this reason, it’s important to look at these statistics with the understanding that the U.S. rate could be higher than normal and some states’ rates could be lower than normal.
Overall, the fact that the divorce rate has been trending lower in Florida over the past five years is a positive thing. Even though 2020’s numbers may be slightly skewed, they’re still a good measure of how couples are viewing the institution of marriage, and right now, that view seems pretty rosy.