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Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. Blog

Sunday, August 21, 2016

33,600 Pennsylvania Marriages Ended in Divorce Last Year, and That’s a Good Thing

Sometimes the people who come into the office have a hard time accepting the fact that they are getting a divorce. They often think they are a failure because their marriage is ending. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Divorce is not a sign of failure, but a sign of bravery and hope. People who get divorced know they and their partner are not living their best lives, and have decided to do something about it. It takes courage and a belief in yourself to make such a dramatic life change; making it a life event to celebrate, not grieve over.

Divorcing couples should also find some comfort in the fact that they are not alone. Divorce is extremely common in today’s world. In 2015, 67,200 people ended their marriages in Pennsylvania. In Berks County alone, 939 marriages were dissolved. This data comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which has just released its annual report on our state’s marriage and divorce statistics.

This is actually the lowest number of divorces we have had in Pennsylvania since 1974 (the report goes all the way back to 1950 if you are curious to see how the number of divorces has grown over time), but as psychologist pointed out in an interview with ABC27, one reason for the drop could be the fact that people are slower to get married than they were in the past. Living together before marriage and having children out of wedlock are no longer taboo, so people are doing these things before heading down the aisle. When these relationships end, they are just break-ups, not divorces.

If this is the only reason for the drop in divorces, it is unfortunate. Couples who have lived together or have children together have the same issues when they end their relationships, but they don’t get the benefit of the law to protect them.

Under our current legal system, divorce has become a standardized process that is both efficient and fair. Property, assets, and debts are fairly divided, and the courts ensure that any children involved are taken care of. When a relationship ends where the parties were not married, the children are treated the same as if their parents had been married, but the courts will most likely not be involved in any other way. This can lead to really unfair results.

If you would like to talk with an attorney about ending your marriage, the time to do so is now. Why should you suffer through a relationship when you know you and your partner’s lives could be better? If you are ready to talk to an experienced attorney about how to begin the divorce process, and what you can expect from it, contact the Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. to schedule an initial consultation at our office in Reading


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