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NJ’s Low Divorce Rate

October 11, 2011

A recently released U.S. census report confirms that New Jersey has the lowest divorce rate in the country.  With New York a close second, the two states are indicative of a lower divorce rate in general in the Northeast.   The report shows that 6.1 of every 1,000 men and 6 of every 1,000 women got divorced in New Jersey in 2009.  Alaska’s divorce rates for women at 16.2 per 1,000 were the highest, while Arkansas took top “honors” for men at 13.5 per 1,000.

One possible explanation for New Jersey’s lower divorce rates may be that the marriage rate in New Jersey is also low — in fact, it’s the second lowest in the U.S.   A second explanation offered is the higher average age for marriage in New Jersey – 28 for women and 30.2 for men.  This compares to a national average of 26.5 years of age for women and 28.4 for men.  Both marriage and divorce rates are higher in the South.

It’s also been speculated that the higher cost of divorce in New Jersey and the Northeast may be a limiting factor.  One of the first things that experienced divorce attorneys tell their prospective clients is to expect a huge financial impact from divorce and to consider their options carefully.  Whether you are the breadwinner or the dependent spouse, your assets will be diminished as a result of a divorce and the cost of the divorce process itself will reduce your available income during — and often after — the divorce.

As a proponent of Alternate Dispute Resolution, it’s always my goal to minimize the costs of divorce.  That goes hand in hand with trying to effectuate a settlement that both parties can live with and which allows them to move forward with dignity and more of their assets intact.  I encourage clients to look carefully at their ADR options, especially mediation and collaborative divorce.  If the decision has been made to go forward with a divorce, it is good to know there are less costly and less adversarial options. 

For more information about mediation and Collaborative Divorce, contact Risa A. Kleiner, Esq. at risa@rkleinerlaw.com or by calling 609.951.2222.