census Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Penny pinching after a divorce ways to stay afloat

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 82 percent of custodial parents are women, meaning men pay the vast majority of child support. This can contribute to making life more expensive for these males.

The expenses will often double for these individuals, as they have to deal with payments for two households, and the income is usually split in half. Along with the financial drain, men will likely have less time to handle their business due to the split.

Though the situation is dire for men who are dealing with this difficult process, there are several ways that these individuals can stay afloat.

According to the Huffington Post, one way to deal with this lessened income is to share a residence with another divorced individual in the same situation. Along with the financial benefit, the person may be able to relate to the problems that can exist in these circumstances.

Overworked dads can bond over their shared experiences, and can act as support when times get tough. It doesn’t have to be for a significant amount of time, but as a temporary measure it may serve to help the divorced individual get back on their feet.

Lower divorce rate in states with gay marriage

States that recognize same sex marriage tend to have lower divorce rates, according to an analysis of provisional government data.

Five out of the 10 states in the nation with the lowest divorce rates per thousand people are also among the nine states that perform and recognize gay marriages. According to U.S. News and World Report, although states that permit a wider variety of marriages would similarly have more divorce, provisional data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System found that the number of divorces in jurisdictions that recognize or perform same sex marriages is 41.2 percent of the number of marriages in 2009. In comparison, in other states that rate was 50.3 percent.

However, other data suggests that states with same sex marriages are just as likely to end in divorce as traditional unions. Gary Gates, a member of a sexual orientation law think tank and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, told the news source that divorce rates in Massachusetts have not changed since same-sex marriage became legal in 2004.

In addition, some suggest that newlywed same sex couples are more likely to be older than opposite sex couples and often have higher levels of education, both factors that researchers believe lowers the risk for divorce.

Last month, New York became the newest – and largest – state to legalize gay marriage. Same sex marriages will officially become legal in the state on July 24.

Single dad households on the rise in US

While most single-parent households in the U.S. are primarily lead by women, there is a rapidly increasing number of single fathers in the nation who are juggling the responsibilities of working and raising a child on their own, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Although 2009 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that only 17.4 percent of custodial parents in the nation were men, the number is steadily rising. For instance, the newspaper reports that the number of single dads has increased 28 percent over the past decade while the number of single mothers declined for the first time since 1970.

“Many years ago, family courts would be reticent to award custody to the father even in the face of the mother having some issues,” Hans Johnson, of the Public Policy Institute of California, told the newspaper. “Today, fathers are expected to take on more child-rearing responsibilities than they were 30 years ago.”

In addition, a 2006 survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers members found that 22 percent of attorneys noticed an increase in cases where a father wins sole child custody, while none reported noticing a similar growth among mothers.

Some states have instituted new policies encouraging 50-50 child custody. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam recently signed legislation that requires family court judges to make custody decisions that maximize the presence of both parents in a child’s life.

Census data shows divorces declining slightly

Recently released U.S. Census data indicate that after climbing steadily for decades, the number of divorces in the U.S. has begun to level off.

The Associated Press reports that about three out of four marriages that began since 1990 have lasted at least 10 years, representing an increase of about 3 percentage points from the 1980s.

“There’s a new marriage bargain based on having two earners that seems to be working for more and more couples,” Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University, told the news source. “Most divorces have always occurred within 10 years of marriage because most people who are unhappily married figure that out quickly.”

The report found that the infamous “seven-year itch” still exists, with seven years being roughly the average length of time married couples spent together before separating.

USA Today reports that the Survey of Income and Program Participation from the Census found that 30 percent of people have never been married, which is the largest such figure in 60 years. In addition, the survey found that the average age of people getting married for the first time rose.