According to a recent US Census report, Northeastern states- and especially New Jersey- have some of the lowest divorce rates in the country. In the Northeast, the divorce rate is about 7.2 divorces per 1000 men and 7.5 divorces per 1000 women. In New Jersey, the divorce rate is 6.1 divorces per 1000 men, and 6 per 1000 women. By contrast, the highest divorce rates in the United States are found in the Bible Belt. In this southern area of the United States, the rates reach 10.2 divorces for every 1000 men, and 11.1 divorces for every 1000-women.
There are many explanations for the disparity between divorce rates in New Jersey and divorce rates in the South. The simplest reason may be that New Jersey has a much lower marriage rate than many Southern states. At 14.8 for men, and 13.3 for women, New Jersey has some of the lowest marriage rates in the country, second only to Maine.
Another possible explanation is that early marriages, which increase the chances of divorce, are much more common in the South. Southern states also have more shotgun marriages resulting from cultural attitudes to unplanned pregnancies. Finally, the rate of couples living together instead of, or prior to getting married, is higher in New Jersey than in many southern states.
Many of these factors indicate that couples in New Jersey likely have more freedom to seek out alternatives to marriage, or to delay getting married for longer than couples in southern states. With more alternatives and later marriages, it is only natural that incidents of divorce would be fewer.
However, with the rising number of cohabitating couples come other concerns – particularly when a couple that has bought property together breaks up. These couples do not have the same protections and rights that married couples do. As such, New Jersey family lawyers are seeing a rise in the need for cohabitation agreements.
The New Jersey divorce lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons in divorce, child support, child custody, domestic violence and other family law-related matters across New Jersey.