Death Of Marriage, Slow At First Then All At Once
01/27/2021
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The following graph shows net support for toughening (easing) the legal requirements for obtaining a divorce in the US. Annual values are calculated by taking the percentages of respondents who think divorce should be made more difficult to obtain and subtracting from it the percentages of respondents who think it should be easier to obtain, with the percentages who think it should remain the same being netted out:

No fault divorce laws began sweeping across the country fifty years ago. Until very recently, though, these laws were only begrudgingly accepted by large swaths of the population. Pluralities and in several years outright majorities thought it was too easy for couples to disavow their vows. By 2010, though, a sharp drop in support for toughening requirements had occurred and as of 2018 a plurality approaching an outright majority thinks divorces should be even easier to obtain than they are now. The 2020 iteration of the survey, which will be released in a couple of months, may well be the first in the survey’s four decades where an outright majority of Americans express support for making divorces easier to enact than they currently are.

We were told the legalization of same-sex marriage would strengthen the institution, so it’s doubly confusing that support for more easily ending it has increased dramatically since the judiciary legalized it.

General Social Survey variables used: DIVLAW, YEAR

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