That’s the question the Census Bureau answered in its May 2011 report, "Number, Timing and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009." The Census Bureau collected histories from some 39,000 households and identified certain characteristics of persons who were divorced. The findings contain few surprises:

  • When it comes to race, the divorce rate is fairly similar for Caucasian (10.8 percent), Black (11.5 percent) and Native American (12.6 percent) couples.
  • Men tend to be divorced at a later age than women (35-to-44 as compared to 25-to-34), which is likely due to the fact that men tend to marry women who are younger than themselves.
  • Men and women who attended college but did not achieve a 4-year degree were 16 to 20 percent more likely to be divorced. While one may suspect this is due to lower income, that can’t be the only factor since those with only a high school education tend to earn less than those with some college education and yet high school graduates were less likely to be divorced. Economists have suggested that a failure to finish college could occur for financial reasons or from a personal lack of drive, both of which may lead to less marital success.
  • Female respondents who worked full time were 46 percent more likely to be divorced. Men’s full-time employment was somewhat less indicative of their marital status (employed men were 35 percent more likely to be divorced than those employed part-time or less).
  • The rate of marriage is the same for all income levels, but marriages of low-income people are much less stable. Survey respondents who were below the poverty level were far more likely to say they were divorced. And women who were divorced were far more likely to be receiving cash assistance from the government than men who were divorced.

            Source: 24/7 Wall Street.com, "The Six Demographic Characteristics of Divorce."

Hat tip to Scott D. Stewart for his post on June 10, 2011

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.