North Carolina Divorce Rate & Statistics [2024 Updated]

Marriages are an investment between two individuals. Unfortunately, like other investments, they don’t always end up coming to full fruition. Choosing to divorce your spouse can be complicated, frightening, and upsetting. Even in situations where the couple has mutually decided they’ve grown apart, divorce is not an easy process. With the help of a North Carolina divorce attorney, understanding the statistics around divorce can help ease some of the emotions surrounding it.

Nationwide Statistics

To understand the nationwide divorce statistics, it is first important to know that more marriages occur throughout the US each year than divorces. In 2022, there were approximately 670,000 divorces nationwide. However, that same year, there were over 2 million marriages. The marriage rate throughout the country is about six marriages per 1000 people.

Unfortunately, in the US, there is an old adage that says half of all marriages end in divorce. There is some truth to that. In 2000, there were approximately four divorces per 1000 people, while marriages occurred at a rate of 8 per 1000 people. However, that number has dropped over time and as of 2022, that number was approximately 2.4 per 1000.

This drop seems promising for marriages and indicates that more will last, but remembering that the current marriage rate is only 6 per 1000, it seems that an average of half of marriages still end in divorce.

This rate, however, applies specifically to first marriages. When looking at marriages beyond the first, the divorce rate increases. For second marriages, the divorce rate is closer to 67%, and third marriages dissolve at a rate of 73%.

Reasons for Divorce

There are a number of reasons why married couples seek divorce. The top five reasons couples divorce include:

  • A lack of commitment
  • An affair or infidelity
  • Irreconcilable differences resulting from arguing or conflict
  • The couple was too young at the time of marriage
  • Financial problems

Other reasons that couples seek a divorce include substance abuse or addiction, domestic violence, problems with health, problems with family, and more.

Often in divorce, the couple is experiencing problems that are then compounded with other reasons. While many couples will try to work through problems, the compounding of issues without any real resolutions can result in the couple choosing to end their marriage.

North Carolina Statistics

Different states will have different marriage and divorce rates. Nevada boasts the highest divorce rate, with 4.2 divorces per 1000 people. While this could be just the result of drive-through marriage companies, there are a variety of temptations that could lead to divorce in Nevada. Alternatively, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate, with 1 per 1000.

North Carolina’s divorce rate is above the national average at 3.2 per 1000 people. Fortunately, this number is significantly lower than it was 24 years ago. In 1990, the divorce rate was 5.1 per 1000 people, still above the national average. These statistics make it easy to conclude that more than half of all marriages in North Carolina will end in divorce.

North Carolina Divorce Process

To help curb the trends of divorce in North Carolina, the state puts stipulations in place to help the couple resolve any differences prior to divorce. In North Carolina, a couple must be separated for at least a year before they can file for divorce. During this separation period, the hope is that the couple can either reconcile the marriage or work through the details of the divorce amicably in order to finalize the divorce at the end of that period.

During the period of separation, the couple must file a separation agreement which will state the requirements each is to follow during the one-year period. This could include agreements on child support and custody, spousal support, and more. However, these terms only apply to the separation period. A judge will rule on the final divorce agreement, which could deviate from the separation agreement.


Q: What Is the Divorce Rate in North Carolina?

A: The current divorce rate in North Carolina is 3.2 divorces per 1000 people, which is above the national average of 2.5 per 1000. Historically, North Carolina has stayed above the national average in divorce rate. This rate is the result of several potential factors, and the circumstances for each divorce are unique to that marriage.

Q: Is Divorce 50 50 in North Carolina?

A: North Carolina is one of the few states that follows a 50/50 rule in divorce. Under this rule, marital assets in a divorce are divided evenly amongst both spouses in what the state determines to be an equitable distribution. However, a judge may deviate from the 50/50 division if they feel a different division of assets is necessary based on the circumstances of the marriage and the divorce.

Q: Does a Husband Have to Support His Wife During Separation in NC?

A: A husband is under no obligation to support his wife during separation. The laws in North Carolina do not dictate support based on gender, age, religion, or any other personal characteristic. Support during separation is determined by the ability of each spouse to support themselves, the circumstances of the marriage, the earning potential of each spouse, and more.

Q: Are the Current Divorce Rates Increasing or Decreasing?

A: The current divorce rates are decreasing both nationally and within the state of North Carolina. However, this can be misleading, as the number of marriages is also decreasing. The national average still hovers around a 50% divorce rate, with North Carolina slightly above that. This trend is also specific to first marriages, as second and third marriages are significantly more likely to end in divorce.

North Carolina Divorce Attorney

While the statistics in North Carolina seem to indicate that the deck is stacked against married couples, each marriage is unique and should be treated as such. While the hope is that a marriage will last forever, the facts show that this is not always the case. If you are considering a divorce or are already facing one, get the support you deserve with a divorce attorney from The Law Offices of Aimee E. Cain. Contact us today and learn how we can help.

Do not face the difficulties of divorce alone.
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