Catholics and Evangelical Christians have the lowest divorce rates in the United States. Perhaps this is the result of shared values between the spouses, or perhaps it is the result of how these Christian religions view the sanctity of marriage and the non-acceptance of divorce. In addition to divorce, those married in the Catholic Church must go through a process of annulment of the marriage by the church. There have been some changes in divorce over the most-recent decades.
Catholic Divorce and Annulment
The Catholic News Agency reports that of all Catholics who have been married, only 28 percent have been divorced. Of those who have married other Catholics, 27 percent have experienced divorce, and nearly 50 percent of those who have married non-Catholics have divorced. Due to the reduction of marriages taking place in the Catholic Church, annulment rates have dropped from one in 4.5 marriages to one in 6.5. Twenty-five percent of the population identify as Catholic, but only eight percent of marriages take place within the Catholic Church.
Divorce over Fifty
Women’s liberation, racial equality, and gay rights are social causes that the baby boomers have taken up. Now, they are leading the way in the area of divorce over the age of 50. In a poll, 61 percent of divorce lawyers report that they have seen an uptick in the number of couples in their retirement years who are seeking divorce. One of the reasons for the increase is that people are living longer, but they also realize that life is short, and they want to get the most out of the years that they have left. One lawyer reports her experience is that there is often a third party playing a factor in the divorce. The new interest may be giving the spouse the incentive that he or she needs to separate from an unhappy marriage.
Whether looking at the religion or the age of a divorcing couple, there are changes taking place in the social fabric of the United States. While Evangelicals and Catholics tend to stay together, the baby boomers are heading out without their long-term spouses.