California Divorce Rate 2024 – Latest Statistics

Across the country, divorce rates continue to decline, and the California divorce rate does as well. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that divorce rates have declined every year since 2011. Over the past century, divorce rates went up beginning in the 1960s and peaked in the 1990s. Since then, there has been a steady decline in both marriage and divorce rates. It is important to note, however, that divorces are not exactly uncommon. In 2022, 673,989 marriages ended in divorce or annulment.

Anyone considering getting a divorce has a lot at stake. Property division, child custody, and potential alimony considerations are just a few of the life-altering topics you may have to address when ending a marriage. Having the legal counsel of a knowledgeable family law attorney can help you protect your rights as you go through that process. TDC Family Law has a Certified Family Law Specialist who thoroughly understands the state’s family laws and how to litigate in court.

California’s Divorce Rate

California has a divorce rate of 5.88 per 1,000 women. That means that in any given year, nearly six out of 1,000 women will divorce. Of course, not every woman is married in a given year, so the effective divorce rate is much higher. California has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Given California’s reputation for celebrity culture, the state’s relatively low divorce rate may surprise many. Nearby Oregon has a divorce rate of 7.34 per 1,000 women, while Nevada has a divorce rate of 7.83 per 1,000 women.

The states with the highest divorce rates (per 1,000 women) are:

  • Arkansas: 11.85
  • Wyoming: 11.01
  • Kentucky: 9.92
  • West Virginia: 9.66
  • Oklahoma: 9.34

Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California’s divorce rate over the past several years has slowly declined. However, marriage rates in California have also steadily declined. In 2000, there were 2,315,000 marriages. By 2010, that number dropped to 2,096,000. In 2022, there were 2,065,905 marriages.

In 2000, there were 944,000 divorces in California. In 2010, that number dropped to 872,000. California has a lower divorce rate than most states, but there has been a national downward trend in marriage and divorce rates since the 1990s.

Reasons for Declining Marriage and Divorce Rates

The marriage rate was nearly 14.9 per 1,000 women in 2021. That is down significantly from 16.3 a decade earlier. The 2021 divorce rate dropped to 6.9, while the divorce rate was much higher (9.7) in 2011. Several factors contribute to the decline in marriage and divorce, reflecting changes in attitudes, behaviors, and socioeconomic dynamics.

One major factor is that men and women are waiting longer to marry. The delay in tying the knot comes with benefits. Marrying later in life allows couples to be more financially stable, mature, and emotionally ready for the big commitment. Couples who marry later are often better equipped to handle the challenges of marriage. This may ultimately lead to lower divorce rates in the future. One-quarter of 40-year-old men have never married. This marks a stark change from past generations. In the 1960s, only 6% of 40-year-olds had never married.

Another factor may be the trend toward cohabitation before marriage. Many couples are finding that living together before marriage has financial benefits. This trial period may reduce divorce rates because it allows couples to better know their partners before they choose to marry. There is less stigma surrounding relationships that don’t lead to marriage, and many people are content to live in partnerships that are not legally formalized.

Economic factors also play a huge role in marriage rates, which in turn can lead to lower divorce rates. During economic downturns, couples are less likely to marry due to financial constraints. The past two decades have seen notable economic downturns, from the housing crisis to the pandemic lockdown.

Lastly, greater equality for women may contribute to lower divorce rates. As women gain economic security and greater equality, the increase in shared responsibility may lead to lower stress and reduce the likelihood of divorce.


Which States Have the Highest Divorce Rate?

Arkansas, Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Oklahoma have the highest divorce rates in the country. California has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. In general, the coastal states and northern states have the lowest divorce rates in the country, while central and southern states have the highest rates of divorce. Across all states, there is a downward trend in both divorce and marriage rates.

Is California a 50-50 Divorce State?

California is generally a 50-50 divorce state. Most assets and properties acquired during marriage are viewed as community property that is split equally between both spouses. Anything that was inherited or given as a gift is personal property and not subject to division in family court. In practice, the division of assets may not be exactly 50-50. The courts aim to divide property and assets fairly. When both parties agree on the division of an estate, the courts are not required to intervene in that process.

How Many Years Do You Have to Be Married to Get Alimony in California?

When both spouses agree on the decision pertaining to spousal support in a divorce decree, the courts will generally honor those decisions. A judge may order alimony if one spouse does not have the financial resources to immediately support themselves. In those cases, the judge may decide to award alimony for the length of time it would reasonably take for the less financially independent spouse to become self-supporting.

Do I Need a Family Law Attorney to File a Divorce?

You do not have to have an attorney to file for divorce, but having one comes with many advantages. An attorney will understand how to protect your rights and file timely motions on your behalf. Family court cases can be very emotional, and allowing someone to provide objective advice can be a real asset during a divorce.

Schedule Your California Family Law Consultation Today

While divorce rates continue to decline, several hundred thousand Americans still divorce every year. No one enters a marriage expecting to get divorced, but the realities of life may necessitate that you hire an experienced divorce attorney in California. At TDC Family Law, our team is ready to support you through your divorce, as we focus only on family law. To schedule your divorce consultation, contact our office today.


1530 The Alameda, Suite 108
San Jose, CA 95126

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TDC Family Law serves the entire state of California for Contempt of Court and Private Settlement Judge & Mediation

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