For many Pennsylvania spouses, concern over how a failed marriage might be perceived is a primary factor in postponing or delaying a divorce. No one wants to be the subject of social scorn, nor do they want their personal turmoil made public. New research suggests that divorce is not looked down upon in the way that it was decades ago. There seems to be a trend toward increasing social acceptance of divorce. That could help some spouses who are markedly unhappy but unsure about moving through a high-profile or high asset divorce.
Researchers looked at data collected by the Gallup polling group, through the annual Values and Beliefs poll. The results from this year show a continuing increase in the number of respondents who feel that divorce is a morally acceptable choice. In fact, as many as 73 percent of those polled believe that seeking a divorce is not morally wrong. That number is a huge increase from polling in 1954, where 43 percent of survey participants said that they did not personally “believe” in divorce.
Interestingly, the data collected from 2015-2017 shows that even people who are currently married feel that divorce is morally acceptable. In the past — even the recent past — married people were more likely than single people to take issue with divorce. Researchers are uncertain why those numbers have shifted. It may be that the nation is slowly moving toward a more liberal interpretation of social values, or perhaps it is simply the result of divorce becoming so widespread that virtually everyone has had some level of experience — even if not firsthand — with divorce or divorced individuals.
This research comes as a welcome relief to those in Pennsylvania who are concerned about how their own high asset divorce may be viewed by others. While social stigma is not the sole factor that leads spouses to postpone filing for divorce, it is a significant consideration for some, especially if the marriage has also been high profile or held in high esteem. The increasing social acceptability of ending an untenable marriage can make it easier for spouses to move on toward happier horizons.
Source: gallup.com, “U.S. Divorce Rate Dips, but Moral Acceptability Hits New High“, Andrew Dugan, July 7, 2017