New Research Reveals the Real Impact of Divorce on Arizona Kids

Divorce Statistics in Arizona

Divorce is a fairly widespread occurrence, and one of the most commonly cited “adverse events” (events that can negatively impact a child’s life) mentioned in counseling sessions nationwide. While the majority of children who experience divorce do not experience long-term issues, there are some negative occurrences that can happen if the child struggles to adjust, including emotional and cognitive difficulties, behavioral issues, and trouble in school. These can be even more serious when children experience a parental divorce that turns contentious.

Recent data suggests that the quality of the pre-and post-divorce environments – and the level of conflict experienced during these times – are among the most influential factors on how well children adjust. This is interesting in that families, much like the couples themselves, experience divorce as a process rather than a singular event. A study of interparental conflicts and divorce adjustment patterns revealed that children whose pre- and post-divorce experiences included relatively few arguments, limited aggression and hostility, and moderate levels of familial happiness experienced a much more stable adjustment to life after divorce. The opposite was true of children whose parents experienced long-term conflict, bitterly argued over most aspects of their divorce, and continued to experience altercations post-divorce; these children experienced a drop in their well-being and adjustment levels.

In general, while divorce is often difficult for children, couples can reduce negative impacts by making an effort to be cooperative and positive throughout the process. At The Valley Law Group, we encourage our clients to participate in lower-stress divorce options like cooperative divorce, mediation, and more. Learn more about the current state of divorce in the US and Arizona, then see how we can help you minimize the effects of divorce on your children.

Are Divorce Rates Declining?

35-50% Divorce Stat

Perhaps the most commonly-cited divorce statistic out there posits that half of all marriages end in divorce. This is not explicitly true. When no-fault divorces were first introduced in the 1970s, divorce rates skyrocketed as men and women were no longer trapped in dangerous or unfavorable marriages. However since then, the divorce rate has been in decline. Now, it’s estimated that upwards of 35% of all first marriages end in divorce, and the upper end of that statistic hovers close to the 50% mark.

It’s important to note that even before the 1970s, divorce rates had been in a state of constant flux. While the data isn’t complete, researchers noted in the 1940s that divorce rates had begun to rise, particularly through World War II. Then, during the postwar Baby Boom and the idyllic landscape of the American Dream-heavy 1950s, divorce rates dropped once again. Rates saw a low of about 21% during that time and a high of 26%. There was little change in divorce rates during the late 50s and even the 1960s until the passing of no-fault divorce in California in 1969.

In the modern era, worldwide events once again influenced divorce rates. During COVID-19, people were spending more time with their partners than they ever had before, so both marriage and divorce rates experienced unusual peaks and valleys reaching as low as 35%. However, when it comes to the question, “What percentage of marriages actually end in divorce?,” the answer truly depends on whether the marriage is a first marriage.

Second Marriage Divorce Rates

60-70% Divorce Stat
While it seems that between 35 and 50% of first marriages end in divorce, the same isn’t true for subsequent marriages. Second marriages face unique challenges, such as blending families together, changing established routines, and addressing any emotional damage left behind from previous marriages. These things can significantly impact how a remarriage functions, and they may put a great deal of pressure and strain on a marriage.

These challenges can be too much for many second marriages, but because the couple has already been through the process once, there is less fear of the unknown surrounding divorce. These aspects can contribute to a significantly higher rate of divorce for second marriages, which ranges from 60% to over 70%.

Factors That Affect Marriage and Divorce

There are quite a few different factors that affect the likelihood of divorce in a particular marriage. These things can include age, cohabitation, education, and more.

First, the age at the time of marriage can impact the likelihood of the couple getting a divorce. Couples who get married when they’re young are more likely to end their relationship in divorce. This might be because they haven’t fully matured at the time of marriage, because they haven’t had enough time to get to know their partner or themselves, or simply because they are less averse to divorce at a younger age.

Education levels can play a part in divorce rates, as well. With a higher level of education often comes the ability to work through problems better with conflict resolution. Additionally, when couples have a more stable economic status, they’re less likely to be under financial pressure and strain, thus making them less likely to divorce. As a result, couples who are more educated often tend to be less likely to divorce.

Contrary to popular belief, couples who cohabitate before marriage are more likely to divorce. Understanding why cohabitation can lead to divorce can be difficult, as the common assumption is that living with someone should help you get to know them better. Problems that arise from cohabitation vary from couple to couple. Meanwhile, couples who choose not to live together before marriage, perhaps for religious reasons, are less likely to end up divorced.

Family environment – both in the family of origin and in the marital family – can impact divorce rates. For example, people who grew up in a household where they experienced divorce are also more likely to get divorced. In addition, infidelity is a significant contributor to divorce. Not only does this cause an extreme level of hurt and mistrust but that trust can be incredibly difficult to rebuild, which can lead to divorce.

Finally, researchers have revealed that having certain careers appears to influence divorce rates. Bartenders and gaming managers see the highest rates of divorce, with rates over 52%.These and other professions are thought to be particularly at risk for divorce because of the long, often odd, hours required that force couples to spend significant time apart. For these reasons, flight attendants also see a divorce rate of over 50%.

What Are the Most Common Reasons for Divorce?

Common Reasons for Divorce

Current divorce statistics have revealed a wide range of reasons for divorce. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Commitment – While most people are committed to the relationship at the time of marriage, this isn’t the case for everyone throughout their marriage. Difficulty committing later on in the marriage is one of the most commonly-cited reasons that marriages end in divorce.
  • Infidelity – As mentioned, this is another common reason that couples choose to divorce. One party breaking the bonds of marriage can make it difficult for the other party to feel comfortable remaining in the relationship.
  • Domestic Abuse – Unfortunately, this is another one of the most common reasons that relationships end in divorce. Violence in a relationship is very serious, but you don’t need to suffer in silence – speak confidentially with our discreet divorce attorneys to learn how you can safely exit your abusive marriage.
  • Financial Trouble – Financial trouble is another common reason that relationships end in divorce. Communication issues, mistrust, and resentment can quickly arise because of financial problems, which can then extend well into the divorce process.

What Are the Divorce Trends in 2023?

Over 70% Divorce Stat
As you can see, while marriage and divorce have never been straightforward topics, in 2023, divorce is a more complex matter than ever. Currently, couples spend an average of 8 years together before getting divorced.This means that the common assumption that “nobody wants to work for a marriage anymore” is largely untrue; in 2023, most couples are not making snap decisions about the relationship and have instead invested a large amount of time and resources into the marriage.

While we briefly touched on the likelihood of subsequent marriages ending in divorce earlier, with upwards of 60% of second marriages ending in divorce, it’s important to note that over 70% of third marriages end in divorce. Still, remarriage is more popular than ever in 2023. Nearly half of divorced people choose to remarry.

2023 divorces also appear to be influenced by other social factors. For example, couples who are surrounded by friends who are getting divorced are more likely to get divorced themselves. Studies have shown that clusters of divorce can occur in friend groups, often meaning that couples with divorcing friends are at a greater risk for divorce.

How Do Arizona Divorce Statistics Compare to Other States?

Of course, just as populations, values, trends and marital influences are diverse across America, divorce rates also vary by state. In 2021, Arizona was ranked 20th out of the 50 states and Washington DC in terms of divorce rate. This was a significant drop from 2015, as a 2017 article listing verified statistics had Arizona as number 13 on the list. At that time, the divorce rate in Arizona was 15% higher than the national average, which was 16.9%.

So, which state has the highest divorce rate? Currently, that’s Nevada, which also took the top spot in the 2015 rankings. As of 2021, the CDC reported that Arizona saw 2.7 divorces per 1000 people. Massachusetts represented the lowest at 1 per 1000, while Nevada was the highest at 4.2 per 1000. This statistic may be a bit misleading as the state sees an increased number of marriages due to the numerous ‘quickie wedding’ options available in Las Vegas. Nevada has more relaxed rules for marriage and divorce than many other states. As a result, many people flock to Las Vegas each year to elope.

Is Arizona a 50/50 Divorce State?

If you’ve already decided to divorce and are looking for the best way to minimize the impact on your children, settling the terms of your divorce in advance via mediation may be the best solution. One thing to consider during a divorce is how assets will be divided. This can be done amicably between the parties without a lengthy court hearing, especially since Arizona has a relatively straightforward law regarding property.

Arizona is one of nine states that recognize the community property rule, which is commonly referred to as a 50/50 property split. This means that all marital assets obtained during the marriage are divided roughly equally.

These assets can include:

  • Income from wages and other sources
  • Investments, pensions, and funds
  • Valuable possessions, including jewelry
  • Shared homes and other real estate
  • Recreational vehicles and cars
  • Furniture, appliances, and household goods

However, it’s important to note that property and assets acquired before the marriage are not considered community property, but are separate property not subject to division. Additionally, any assets that were a gift or inheritance are also not included in property division. In addition, many people don’t recognize that while Arizona is a community property state, that might not mean that everything is divided 50/50. In most cases, assets are divided equitably, which aims to provide a fair division of property that isn’t necessarily precisely equal.

Ending a Divorce Amicably

As mentioned, complex and contentious divorces put you at risk of negatively impacting any children involved. Pre-divorce, when parents spend all their time fighting and arguing, children are exposed to a negative family environment that can affect their relationships with their parents. During divorce, a contentious atmosphere that pits two parents against one another can extend the divorce process and make it more difficult for the children involved. Post-divorce, continuous disagreements about parenting time, child support, and other issues can continue to create a negative environment for the family.

However, with skilled family law services like those at The Valley Law Group, there are other routes far better than contentious divorce litigation. Through methods like mediation, parties have a better opportunity to work through the terms of a divorce before court becomes necessary. This lower-stress environment can help parents maintain a positive outlook and minimizes the impact on the lives of the children involved.

Similarly, collaborative divorce allows the parties to work together, thus minimizing negative impacts on the family as well as decreasing costs. Both parties need to agree to work together, which can not only be mutually beneficial, but also allow the proceedings to happen in a more private manner. During a collaborative divorce, the team works together to determine what’s best for everyone involved instead of favoring one party over the other. This can also alleviate the need for the parties to go to court, which forces a judge to make decisions for everyone that may not be preferable in the long run.

The Valley Law Group Can Help You with Your Divorce

Contact The Valley Law Group on their New Updated Website

If you have children and think it’s time to end your marriage, it’s likely that your biggest concern is how your children will be affected by such a significant change. For some, this concern may even deter them from seeking a divorce in the first place. However, it’s crucial to weigh whether staying together will be better for the children, even if both parents are unhappy. Often, an amicable divorce can help both parents and children begin a healthy adjustment period so they can begin making improvements to their overall well-being.

The Valley Law Group can help you pursue more amicable options for your divorce. With the help of proven methods like mediation and collaborative divorce, you can navigate the difficulties of dissolving a marriage without dragging your life – and your children – through the court system. Our team of family law attorneys can help you determine how division of assets, parenting arrangements, and other aspects of divorce could best serve you, with minimal negative impact on you and your family.

Contact The Valley Law Group today and schedule your free consultation.


  1. U.S. Census Bureau. (2023). Marriage and Divorce Rates in the United States.
    Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2023/07/marriage-divorce-rates.html
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). National Vital Statistics System – Marriage and Divorce.
    Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage-divorce.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fnchs%2Fmardiv.htm
  3. U.S. Census Bureau. (2023). Marriage and Divorce Rates in the United States.
    Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2023/07/marriage-divorce-rates.html
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Press Room – Arizona.
    Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/states/arizona/az.htm

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