Where does Illinois ranks in divorce difficulty?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | family law |

Regardless of whether one is married or not, we have all heard the old adage that over half of all marriages end in divorce. However, at least in the U.S., that number is likely closer to 39 percent. And, according to a statistical analysis done by Best Life, one’s state can have a significant affect on how difficult it is to get divorced, which may, as it turns out, affect the divorce rate.

Best Life’s statistical analysis

Best Life compiled divorce rates, costs (filing fees and attorneys’ costs) and finalization timelines from various sources that used 2020 data, including Time and Findlaw. Best Life then compiled this data into their Divorce Disaster Index, a 100-point, weighted scale. And, unsurprisingly, the data showed that the wealthier the state, the more expensive the divorce.

Divorce rate comparison

The state that Best Life found with the easiest divorce process was New Mexico, with a 0 Divorce Disaster Index score. At the other end of the spectrum was California, with a 100 score. In terms of costs, it is about double the cost to get a divorce in California than in New Mexico, and it takes six times as long. But, that ease may have a societal cost. The divorce rate in New Mexico is 13.3 percent, but in California, it is only 9.3 percent. That is over 40 percent higher. Of course, correlation does not equal causation, but that is a huge difference.

Where does Illinois rank?

Illinois falls in the middle at a Divorce Disaster Index score of 40.65, ranking 20. We have about a 9.7 percent divorce rate, which is on the lower end, and getting a divorce is relatively easy here as well. It takes at least 30 to 60 days to get a divorce, a filing fee around $330 and average attorneys’ fees under $11,000. These numbers seem to indicate that our state’s middle of the road approach to divorce is the right way. Though, one’s specific Will County, Illinois, divorce could, and likely will, vary widely.