Higher Divorce Rates in the Past Tied to More Education for Women

Posted on Oct 27, 2011
Divorce rates soared in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s - and many agree that this rise in unsuccessful marriages wasn't a good thing for American families. However, new research published by New York University professors Raquel Fernandez and Joyce Cheng Wong speaks to an often-ignored bright side to the rise in divorce in that era: more women than ever before entered the workforce and sought higher education.

The working paper, which was funded by the National Bureau of Economic Research, analyzes the changing status of women between 1935 and 1970, a time when America's culture and economy changed significantly in just a few decades. When divorce rates began to rise in the 1960s, partially because of the women's liberation movement and strides toward gender equality, many women found themselves without a support system, without work experience, and without the proper education to secure a job. At the same time, many needed to support their children after sometimes unfair divorce settlements.

The result? Fernandez and Wong found that these divorces encouraged (and sometimes required) women to return to school and enter the workforce. However, some things still haven't changed since 1955: many women, especially those with the least education, can still expect to face some economic hardship after a divorce.

Read More About Higher Divorce Rates in the Past Tied to More Education for Women...

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny