Family law lawyers are, not surprisingly, very attuned to rates of divorce. That’s because they can help to gauge whether a family law practice will be successful. Simply put, if people aren’t getting divorced then it will be much harder for divorce attorneys and other legal professionals to make a living. With that in mind, a look at current statistics can be a real eye opener for those considering family law.
We’ve all heard the most general of divorce statistics, that half of all marriages end in divorce. While it’s not quite half of all marriages that end in divorce, when you factor in those ending in legal separation the numbers are still quite astonishing.
Currently, about 20% of all marriages end in divorce within five years, 32% within ten years, 40% within 15 years and 48% within 20 years. That boils down to two divorces every minute in the United States. Of course, those rates will vary from state to state and depend on other factors including age, religion and whether or not the couple cohabited before marriage. In any case, the annual national divorce rate is 3.2 per 1000 (strangely calculated on the total population), according to the Center for Disease Control.
So what do these divorce statistics mean for the family law practitioner? If tapped into the right client base, they translate into a solid stream of clients and profit. Family law is considered one of the “evergreen” areas of law, in that there is an ongoing need for this type of legal representation.
Unlike some other areas of law, such as real estate or corporate law, which can fluctuate drastically with the overall economy, the bottom never completely drops out of family law. There will always be people living their lives, falling in love, getting married and then having difficulties in marriage. It may not seem savory to some to consider making a profit based on the rates of divorce, but neither the lucrative state of this market nor the ability to help people move forward in as positive a way possible can be denied.
And if you’re having a debate with yourself about whether to go into family law consider that you can do more good in this area than almost any other. Yes, there is a lot of emotional baggage involved and the divorce statistics show just how ugly it can get, but all of those people going through the emotional trauma of divorce need someone they can rely on to help them through it.
When you consider some of the new challenges being faced in the family law arena with such hot button topics as same sex marriage and custody rights of gay couples, the potential for profit increases.
If you want to make a real difference in your legal career and make a nice profit at the same time, family law may be just the area for you. Take a long look at those statistics and realize that they could translate into dollar signs for you, as well as lives that you might have a positive impact on.