Divorce is up in parts of Louisiana, but not nationwide

As a resident of Lafayette, if it seems like more of your friends and neighbors down in New Orleans are getting divorced lately, you might be right. According to a new study, New Orleans is one of just a handful of places where the divorce rate is increasing.

The study compared divorce rates in the 100 largest U.S. cities from 2014 to 2019. In that time, New Orleans had the second-highest jump in its residents’ divorce rate of any metro area at 2 percent. And between 2018 and ’19, the rate went up 3 percent to 14 percent, the 11th-highest rate nationwide. No other Louisiana metro area made the study’s list of 25 cities where divorce is becoming more common.

Divorce rate increasing in various U.S. cities

There is no particular regional trend either. The cities on the list are spread out across the country, from Spokane, Washington, to Tampa, Florida, and several states in between. An article about the study does not give any theories why this is happening. The data comes from 2014-19, so the stresses of the pandemic were not a factor. Sometimes, divorce rates are higher in communities where unmarried couples are less likely to move in together before marriage (or never get married at all). When an unmarried couple breaks up, divorce is obviously unnecessary.

When divorce is required, you will probably need to cover several issues, like child custody, property division and spousal support. These are complex issues, but fortunately, most couples can negotiate a fair and sustainable settlement without taking their divorce to trial. Having the judge decide the terms of your divorce is necessary in some cases but can be risky.