Why Women File for Divorce More than Men: 5 Theories (Pt. 1)

Posted: 7 March, 2024

Women file for divorce far more often than men do in the U.S., according to the findings of 2000 study published in the American Law and Economics Review. This study, which was entitled “These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers Are Women,” specifically:

  • Analyzed U.S. divorce cases filed from 1867 through 1995
  • Found that, in more than 68 percent of U.S. divorce cases, women were the ones who initiated the divorce proceedings.

While a number of different socio-economic factors may contribute to why women are the ones who are filing for divorce in the U.S. far more often than men, in this blog series, we will explore some of the most commonly supported theories regarding this finding.

If you are more concerned about your own upcoming divorce, rather than general divorce trends, however, the experienced Las Vegas divorce attorneys at Right Divorce Lawyers are here for you, ready to provide you with the best representation in your upcoming divorce.

Theories Why Women File for Divorce More Often than Men in the U.S.

In general, some of the current theories regarding why women file for divorce more often than men in the U.S. are as follows:

Theory 1 – Women have more financial independence.

According to this theory, the divorce petitions filed by women in the U.S. have likely increased over the past 50 or so years due to the facts that, in general, women:

  • Have become far more financially independent from men
  • Have more educational and professional opportunities
  • Are feeling less and less like they need to stay in bad marriages due to financial reasons.

Theory 2 – Women want to establish their own identities.

This theory suggests that women can be driven to file for divorce before their husbands more often because these women are more driven to start developing their own identity outside of their marriage. While, for women, having an identity outside of marriage may have been frowned upon in the not so far off past, these days, as this theory goes, having a female identity outside of marriage is not as taboo, and some women are becoming far more progressive about standing up for themselves and establishing their own identities.

With this theory, however, it can also be important to remember that factors like upbringing and even biology (in terms of aging and hitting the proverbial midlife crisis) – not just changing social attitudes about divorce – can also contribute to women wanting to take action to end bad marriages, file for divorce and establish their own identities outside of a marriage.

For our continued discussion regarding the theories about why women file for divorce more than men in the U.S., don’t miss the upcoming second part of this blog series!

Contact Right Divorce Lawyers at (702) 914-0400 to speak with a Las Vegas Family Law Attorney.