Rate of Divorce Changes Little in North Carolina Over Past Decade

Posted by Josh Valentine | Oct 17, 2019

Whether because of life circumstances, financial hardship, or simply growing apart, many couples decide that separation is the best option to move forward. While many people feel alone when facing a divorce, it is a common part of life for people across the country. According to a recent survey, while the rate of divorce varies by state, the rate of divorce in North Carolina has not changed much over the past decade. 

Divorce Rates in North Carolina Over Time

A recent survey by Lending Tree evaluated the rate of divorce in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. in 2017. The data included the number of married individuals in 2016 compared to the number of people who divorced in 2017. 

North Carolina falls right in the middle compared to other states, ranking #27 in the 2016-2017 divorce rate. In 2016, the married population in North Carolina was 4,215,963 and 68,227 people divorced in 2017, leaving a divorce rate of 1.6%. 

From 2006 to 2007, the divorce rate in North Carolina was 1.8%, only slightly higher than the more recent figures. Divorce rates fell in most states from the decade before, but the rate of divorce in North Carolina has changed little in those surveys. 

North Carolina Divorce Rate by County

Data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) breaks down the rate of divorce by county and month. For example, in 2016, the rate of divorce in Cleveland County was 3.3% and the rate of divorce in Gaston County was 3.7%.

What States Have the Highest Divorce Rates?

The highest rate of divorce in the survey was in Arkansas at 2.4%, followed by Kentucky, Alabama, and Oklahoma, all at 2.1%. The state with the lowest divorce rate was Hawaii at 1.0%. New York and Illinois had the next lowest divorce rates at 1.2% each. 

Between the two surveys, divorce rates have fallen in all by two states over the past ten years. The divorce rate increased about 0.1% over the ten years in Arkansas and North Dakota. In every other state, divorce rates fell. The divorce rate in Washington D.C. went from 3.4% in 2007-08 to 1.4% in 2016-17, the most significant ten-year change. 

There may be a number of reasons why divorce rates are dropping across the country. Many people are getting married later in life, which can be associated with a lower rate of divorce. Whatever the reason, couples who do go through a divorce may be facing a difficult road ahead. 

After Deciding to Get a Divorce  

After deciding to get a divorce, the spouse may have to deal with a number of difficult situations, including how to come to a settlement agreement on: 

An experienced Shelby divorce attorney can help you through the process and take steps to reduce the stress and disruptions to your life. The attorneys at Caulder & Valentine provide experienced family law services to individuals seeking help after a divorce or legal separation. Contact us in Shelby today for a consultation.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar