New data from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll shows that while divorce rates are at their lowest point in years, 73% of American adults say that divorce is “morally acceptable.” The number of U.S. adults who found divorce morally acceptable has risen 14 percentage points since 2001. This year’s poll is a new all-time high by one percentage point.
Back in 1968, a short time before California became the first state to establish no-fault divorce, Gallup reported that 60% of Americans thought that the government should make divorce more difficult. Nonetheless, 49 states went on to adopt no-fault divorce laws by 1985. As a result of changing public policies, the divorce rate grew exponentially during the 1980’s and 1990’s, as did the moral acceptance of divorce. Historically, married people found divorce less morally acceptable than divorce, separated, and never married people.
By 2015, however, 70% of American adults found divorce morally acceptable for the first time; ironically, that same year, the divorce rate fell to a 35-year low. From 2015-2017, attitudes toward divorce came full circle; married people found divorce as morally acceptable as divorced, or separated, and never married people. Even “very religious” Americans have fundamentally shifted their views on divorce, with a majority (51%) now finding divorce morally acceptable. Even given the Roman Catholic Church’s stance on divorce, 73% of Catholics now consider divorce morally acceptable, the same as the national average.
When it comes to divorce, there never have been significant differences in opinion between age groups. Whereas about 76% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 find divorce morally acceptable, so do about 70% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 54, as well as those over the age of 55. The largest increase in the acceptance of divorce, however, has come among older Americans, as compared to the other age groups over time.
Divorce is never an easy subject, and disagreements between separated or divorced individuals are quite common. In this situation, legal advice can make all the difference. It is these kinds of cases in which a California divorce lawyer can be most effective, and truly make a difference in the outcome of your divorce proceedings. Call the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates at 888.888.6582 and schedule a consultation today.