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As with many things in American life, divorce, too, shows change

Owing to its comparatively impressive diversity when aligned with other nations, the United States is noted as a land of constantly changing demographics, in everything from racial/ethnic composition and political attitudes to views toward same-sex marriage, marijuana use and a host of other things.

Divorce is one topic area that fits strongly in the mix, with a number of perceptions and statistics directly related to marital dissolution showing strong movement over time, both in Florida and elsewhere across the nation.

One material and quite dramatic change -- especially when considered over a period of decades – is the evolving role of women in society. Compared with just one generation ago, things are now greatly different for millions of women across the country.

In what might be termed “your mother’s time,” for example, women were far less likely to initiate divorce, given that they were in most cases the party most disadvantaged following a dissolution. In bygone years, many more women were stay-at-home moms who forewent educational and career opportunities in lieu of raising the children and supporting their spouses.

Relevant statistics now show that women are initiating divorce in about 66 percent of all cases, a dramatic shift from previous years. Millions of women now have the financial ability and social independence to take the lead in divorce filings.

Other material changes have also ensued, including, centrally, a notably discernible rise in divorces among baby boomers. Again, this owes partly to the growing wealth and independence of women, coupled with a greatly weakened stigma attached to living as a single woman.

Commentators note, though, that despite recent changes, men are still more able than women generally to recover better financially from a divorce.

Divorce can be a complex endeavor, with a host of interrelated matters to consider. As one divorce columnist notes, ensuring the best outcome in a divorce depends heavily on securing a divorce attorney “who understands your unique circumstances” and will vigorously promote your best interests.

Source: Forbes, "Not your mother's divorce: three 21st century trends," Jeff Landers, June 20, 2013

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