Florida Divorce Trends in 2023: A Closer Look

Florida Divorce Trends in 2023: A Closer Look

Date Posted: October 3, 2023 12:13 pm Author: Scott A. Levine

Florida Divorce Trends in 2023: A Closer Look


Florida is not only famous for its diverse culture, vibrant cities, and beautiful beaches. It is also a state that ranks high on the national divorce rate list and a place of constantly changing marital dynamics. Since we are well into the second half of 2023, it is time to break down and explain the leading divorce trends that have shaped the lives of Floridians.

This article will explore the unsettling divorce statistics and dive deeper into the factors influencing divorce rates in the Sunshine State. Stay tuned!

The Silent Crisis: Florida’s Uninspiring Divorce Numbers

Floridians divorce more frequently than the rest of the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WorldPopulationReview.com data show that approximately 14% of Florida marriages ended in divorce. That equals 3.6 divorces per 1000 residents, putting the Sunshine State on the national divorce top-ten list.

The Florida cities with the highest divorce rates are Life Oak (11%), Defuniak Springs (10%), Starke (10%), Lake City (10%), and Springfield (9%).

According to the Florida Department of Health, about 40-50% of married Florida couples terminate their relationship in divorce.

The 2010-2019 research (by the American Community Survey) shows a growing trend of Florida gray divorces. The divorce rates for couples older than 50 have doubled in the past 30 years. Around 65% of them come out from their second marriage.

On the other hand, the divorce statistics do not look encouraging among younger couples, either. The available data reveals that about 11% of couples in their thirties file for divorce in Florida.

Unveiling the Dominant Divorce Trends

So, the Florida divorce statistics are unsettling and perhaps disturbing. But what lies behind those numbers? What are the factors influencing such high rates? Here are seven divorce trends that formed the divorce landscape in the Sunshine State:

Technology and Divorce

Modern technology is one of the dominating factors leading to divorce in Florida. Unlike several decades ago, dating apps, social media, and countless online communication mediums have made it easier to connect with other people. While instant communication proves convenient and beneficial in general, there are inherent risks when using such technology excessively, especially for married couples. That view may seem too traditional and backward, but evolution did not design humans for direct and instant contact with hundreds or thousands of unknown people. The typical interactions between individuals require a social context in which people rarely overstep the boundaries of accepted social norms and institutions. Online communications break those boundaries, giving incentives for online infidelity and leading to the dissolution of marriages.

Financial Strains and Economic Factors

The U.S. Census Bureau survey reveals that money issues are among the top reasons for divorce (22%). Dealing with financial stress can often be overwhelming, especially for younger couples who struggle with debts and countless other costs trying to build a stable household. Job losses and economic instability caused by high inflation only add insult to injury. Financial disagreements put a disproportionate strain on marriages, leading couples to see divorce as a solution to their problems.

Changing Social Norms and Attitudes

The way people view divorce has evolved through the decades. Instead of being a social stigma, divorce is now an openly debated topic, allowing couples more space for pursuing happiness and personal growth. Unlike a hundred years ago, spouses who no longer see their marriage as a place of fulfillment can freely go their separate ways. More importantly, their decision to dissolve the marriage does not trigger social and moral condemnation as it used to in the past. These cultural shifts have resulted in higher divorce rates in Florida and nationwide.

Parenting and Custody Arrangements

Parenting and custody arrangements are another change that contributed to higher divorce rates in Florida. Although divorce represents a tectonic event in children’s lives, the new parenting and custody paradigms are a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting their well-being. Florida courts encourage joint custody arrangements and shared parenting, emphasizing the role of both parents in post-divorce life. So, while this shift indirectly leads to more divorces, it puts children and their emotional integrity into focus.

Case Study: The Influence of Changing Social Norms on Older Florida Couples

Aging Population and Gray Divorce

As mentioned, the gray divorce phenomenon is on the rise in Florida. Many factors contribute to such a trend: an empty nest syndrome, changing social norms, different priorities, rediscovering oneself in the golden age, etc. Although a growing divorce trend among older couples indicates more personal freedom and a breakdown from traditional norms, it raises some ethical concerns, too. One is the inability of ex-spouses who remain single to care for themselves at an older age.

Awareness and Education

Florida residents are becoming increasingly aware of divorce and its legal, financial, and emotional aspects. There are multiple resources from which couples can educate themselves about the divorce and the potential procedural pitfalls. Such awareness enables couples contemplating divorce to make an informed decision about their future.

Couples Counseling and Mediation

The increased awareness and a breakaway from restraining traditional norms have led many couples experiencing marital crises to seek counseling and mediation services. Attempting to save their marriage, many spouses turn to marriage specialists or try to resolve conflicts through negotiations. However, if the divorce becomes inevitable, these out-of-court mechanisms ensure peaceful dissolvement and transition to post-divorce life.

Case Study: The Influence of Changing Social Norms on Older Florida Couples

Trends such as increased life expectancy, changing social norms, and different attitudes toward marriage and divorce have resulted in a growing number of gray divorces in Florida. Below is a real-life example that best illustrates how these factors influence long-term relationships.

Michael and Susan have been married for 30 years. They are both in their 60s and live in Springfield, Florida. Their children are now adults, having their own families and careers. Once they moved out of the family home, Michael and Susan realized they had developed different interests and lifestyles through years of focusing solely on children.

Unlike Susan, who enjoys volunteering in their local community, Michael had always dreamed of traveling and exploring the world. Now that the opportunity finally came in retirement, he and his wife disagreed about how to spend their golden years. Because their life goals and aspirations differed, communication between them became less frequent, and the overall fulfillment in their relationship decreased. 

Regardless of the many years spent together, Michael and Susan decided to divorce peacefully, allowing each other to seek individual happiness and fulfillment elsewhere while remaining respectful and thankful for their shared history.

This example shows the increasing trend of gray divorces in Florida and the older couples’ desire to pursue individual happiness and aspirations after decades of marriage.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • Florida divorce rates (3.6 per 1000 residents) put the Sunshine State high on the national top-ten list;
  • Approximately 13% of all Florida marriages end in divorce, and the rate is even higher in second (65%) and third matrimonies (60%);
  • The most typical factors influencing high divorce rates are modern communication technology, financial issues, changing social norms, new parenting and custody arrangements, aging population, increased awareness and education, and marital counseling and mediation.

Ready to Reclaim Your Life?

Contact a Top-Notch Fort Lauderdale Attorney

As 2023 nears its end, the Florida divorce landscape continues to change. Among many factors influencing divorce rates, shifting social norms, financial issues, and technological advancements play vital roles.

Successfully navigating potential challenges requires couples and professionals involved in divorce to understand these trends.

Scott A. Levine is a premier Fort Lauderdale family law attorney with decades of experience, well-versed in most contested Florida divorce cases.

Handling divorce with empathy and wisdom requires a high level of expertise, moral integrity, and compassion. Mr. Levin embodies all these traits, putting them at your disposal during a stressful and life-altering event such as divorce.

Florida divorce dynamics are fast and ever-changing. Taking control over your life cannot wait. Reclaim your future today – call Scott. A. Levine at 954-587-2244 to schedule your confidential consultation.

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