Comments about ‘U.S. divorce dip excludes Utah’

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Recession has no effect on filings, despite national trend

Published: Tuesday, June 23 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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people gettin' married too young...

Scratching head

Is it a 37% decline in divorces nationally, or 37% of lawyers said they have seen a decline in divorces? The sentence in the story is as clear as mud.

refine the data

People gettin'married too young is always the cop-out answer. It's probably the same people who say Utah drivers are the worst. Statistics show other-wise. Not only does Utah have one of the best driving rates, it also has one of the few divorce rates all being equal. Take into consideration Those families who choose to marry within their belief systems, i.e Catholic, Protestant,Jew, Mormon, etc.: They tend to keep their promises and have lasting marriages. If you don't like the legal age for marriage, write your legislature.

No commitments

I have always felt that the young and over 20 are meant to be married and raise a family. Their youth allows them to be more involved in raising children and keeping up with and involving children in their activities. Middle aged and older people have a harder time sustaining the energy of raising children and usually end up being grandparent aged adults by the time their children graduate from high school. Waiting too long and cohabitation also hampers a united and happy marriage. Committing for life and the vows have no meaning anymore.

So I don't think that marrying too young is as much the problem as their lack of character and self discipline they should have been developing from an early age. The biggest problems the young face are financial in nature and they don't know how to manage it and education doesn't teach it. They have been inundated with the mindset that credit and spending is their primary goals and purpose. With so much individualism being the focus in schools and society with their peers they don't know how to merge their lives as a united pair.

Don't Scratch

I remember stories not that long ago about the declining marriage rates -- I'll bet that has a LOT to do with the (current) decline in divorces. And, again, Utah was not having the decline -- so it stands to reason it wouldn't see this decline, either.

And, no, it's not "too young," it's "too irresponsible." In my lifetime, divorce has gone from being the ultimate failure you probably could not recover from to an acceptable solution for trivial disagreements.

When my parents got married, the average age was around 18. Graduate from high school and get married and start your life. Divorce was unheard of. Today the average marriage age is mid-20's, and the divorce rate continues to be quoted at nearly 50%. You cannot blame age on it. If anything, stats would show that the older, the more likely to divorce.

The real issue isn't age, it's a sense of responsibility and the feeling that you will make the marriage work, no matter what comes along. In today's consumer-driven, victim-hood society, neither of those traits are very popular.


are all these divorces non-Mormon? I doubt it. I suspect that most are LDS temple marriages. Perhaps the church is too lenient in granting temple divorces.

re No commitments | 4:45 a.m. J

I agree, at least for me, I got married somewhat late at age 28, and I have always felt this was wasted time that I will never get back. What I did really wasn't by choice.

Wish I could have done things differently.


Marriage too young and too fast IS a contributing factor. Utah is NO different, really, than the rest of the country. People just tend to do more in secret because of the church culture.

Two times out

Yes, I'm sure there are many reasons, but from my experience its mostly because of bad choices by one or both parties. You just never know, so don't take anything or granted. It takes constant communication and a solid effort by both to make it work. Even then there are no guarantees. Sometimes you think it will work, but there are unforseen problems that arise. Its easy to judge until it happens to you.

The Professor

Just a facts about marriage and divorce rates in Utah and the US.
Statistically, your odds of divorce increase if you marry before the age of 20 (NSFH study).
In Utah, the average age at first marriage is approximately 3 years younger than the national average (Utah average 24 men and age 21 women).
Nationally, the refined divorce rate is projected at 40-50% (depending upon which study you look at).
The Utah divorce rate is just about at that average, but well below the average of our neighboring western states (e.g., Nevada #1 in the country and many other western states in the top 10).
In regard to the LDS divorce rate - it is important to distinguish between a temple and non-temple marriage. The divorce rate for a temple marriage is between 7 and 15% - meaning that of all temple marriages, about 7 to 15% eventually divorce and the rest remain married. For non-temple marriages, the divorce rate is over 50%.
I tend to agree with the sentiments expressed in the article in that the economy in Utah is still healthy.


People... please stay together, ask anyone who has been divorced if the grass is really greener. I got married at a very young age(which was really stupid) but so far have been able to work things out. Love comes with time and hard work.

Been there

Marriage should be taught. Relationships are hard and nobody teaches this really. So, people with issues (most of us) don't know how to cope in healthy ways. Intimate terrorism results when one partner dominates and tends to control the other. It may take a while for the victim spouse to get the courage and means to get out. By then, much damage is done.

Does young marriage contribute? - absolutely. Young partners do not yet have the skills and maturity to work out the problems in good ways. They usually don't even have the money to pay for skill building therapy, etc. Insurance (if they are lucky enough to have it) doesn't even pay for couples' counseling.

And, there is huge economic strain that comes from a young marriage where perhaps they don't finish college for financial or other reasons or where the bad economy causes job loss with few skills or experiences to help them compete in this job market. Money problems contribute heavily to marriage problems. Who is there to help? They can't even afford a date and a babysitter - things that might help them. It's a difficult place to be.


The majority of these divorces are mormons. Hmmmmm.....could it possibly be that mormons get married to fast and to young? It's kind of ridiculous.

Happily divorced

Yes, love can grow even with a rough start in the right circumstances when both are committed. Divorce often happens to quickly.

I finally divorced after many years. Only after the divorce was I able to be financially stable and sleep at night. Life was so much better; so much more peaceful. There are many reasons for divorce and one can't begin to guess at what it is for everyone. We also must not judge others too harshly as much trouble occurs behind closed doors.

Divorce is ugly, especially for the children, but marriage can be ugly too. I know much psychological damage (as well as economic) occurred because of my bad marriage. Staying as long as I did taught my daughters lessons I'm ashamed of, like "stay with the guy no matter what - even in terrible emotional abuse" and "continue to work, try to pay the bills for years while he 'finds himself' (or finds a girlfriend)".

The best lesson I was able to teach them was that a woman can take care of herself, value herself and them, and that it is possible to get out (finally) - not only possible, but maybe much better!


It would be nice if this article gave some semblance of actual data about declining divorces elsewhere. The best it offers is results of a survey of divorce lawyers. Maybe people just aren't hiring a lawyer. There are really no facts in this article aside from the 1% increase in Utah. Sloppy.

John Charity Spring

All of the above comments have ignored the fact that the increasingly divorce rate is largely caused by the increasing influence that the public gives to modern media in their lives. The message promoted by modern media is extremely harmful for marriage. Indeed, this message is that immorality, selfishness, and greed are acceptable qualities and everyone else, including a spouse, must simply "deal with it." There was a time when the media promoted the old fashioned values that made this Country great, such a faithfulness, charity, and respect for others. It is no wonder that the divorce rate in increasing.


The fact is that a lot of people shouldn't get married at all, and shouldn't be parents. Regardless of societal/family pressures some people just aren't made for it. Sometimes, many times, people look for someone to "complete them", solve their problems, or make them happy, which is an easy way to avoid responsibility for themselves as individuals. Regardless of people's opinions on the matter, divorce rates, child abuse rates, spousal abuse rates, infidelity rates are facts. As for young people getting married, well, most of them have no where near the experience for marriage, and have their own issues to work through before bringing those problems into a marriage and imposing them on children.

Utahn in Tacoma

Marriage age, whether young or old, isn't the problem! SELFISHNESS in one or both partners is the problem!

Since the baby-boomer age group started, American youth have been taught by their parents to be selfish and spoiled. Spoiled, selfish parents raise even more spoiled, selfish children. Hence, the progressively growing divorce or cohabitation rates since the 60's.

Religion seems to be the only place where people are consistently taught to be unselfish and committed to their spouses and children. So, of course, their marriages and families tend to be stronger. It naturally happens because of 'cause and effect'.

However, everyone has free agency to follow-or not follow-their religious upbringings. The temptation to be selfish is a constant temptation for all of us. So, when these kinds of people go selfish 'piglet' on their spouses and children, we are not surprised. We are overwhelmingly heartbroken and disappointed in them because we know they were taught to be better!


Only in Utah could the well documented assertion that the younger people marry, the higher the divorce rate, get an argument.

hang in there

Don't stay in if there truly is abuse, but otherwise, be humble, be selfless, take the long, long view, and work hard at your marriage. The age of marrying absolutely is NOT the issue. Recession might mean people are acting in more humility, more awareness of what really matters. Who knows? The article doesn't give us much to go on.

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