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Public opinion of divorce shifted dramatically over past years

Irreconcilable differences is one of the most commonly cited grounds for divorce, but exactly what those differences are is not the same for every couple in New York. Indeed, the decision to file for divorce is deeply personal, and often something that only the couple truly understands. Still, recent surveys have found that the general public's opinions on divorce are becoming steadily more critical.

When asked if couples who cannot fix their marital issues were best off divorcing, the 2002 poll response was significantly different from a more recent 2013 survey. In 2002, approximately 47 percent of women and 44 percent of men surveyed agreed that divorce was the best option. By 2013, women's approval on the matter of divorce had dipped to 38 percent while men's dropped to 39.9 percent.

However, public opinion on divorce seems to be headed in a drastically different direction than it is on other subjects. When it comes to other sensitive topics -- such as premarital sex and single parenthood -- public acceptance is on the rise. Some researchers believe this might be due to the changing role of marriage itself. Increasingly, people in New York have the opportunity to put off marriage until they have established a career or met other significant goals. With many people putting in more time together before saying "I do," some might perceive a divorce as an indication that neither party tried hard enough.

Marriages are multi-faceted relationships that do not always have simple solutions for complex problems. Filing for divorce is a smart and viable option for many couples who are experiencing continued and ongoing marital issues that have no foreseeable reconciliation. Regardless of public opinion, ending a marriage continues to be the best choice for any number of couples experiencing irreconcilable differences.

Source:, "Divorce is a good thing: Americans have become too judgmental about marital separation - you must accept that not all marriages work out", Amanda Marcotte, March 18, 2016

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