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US divorce rate dropped for the third year in a row. Good news?

According to a study released this week, the overall divorce rate in the United States dropped in 2015. It also dropped in the prior two years, according to Time. In fact, the 2015 rate -- 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women 15 and older -- represents a near 40-year low.

The study, performed by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, found some interesting trends:

  • Washington, D.C., had the highest divorce rate in 2015, with 29.9 divorces per 1,000 marriages.
  • Wyoming had the second-highest rate, 27.9, and also experienced the greatest increase in its divorce rate last year.
  • Hawaii had the lowest divorce rate, with only 11.1 divorces per 1,000.
  • The overall divorce rate has dropped by 25 percent since 1980.

When we in America talk about divorce rates, there are some who start with the assumption that divorce is bad. Divorce rates are seen as something that should be pushed lower. Intact marriages should be promoted. Is that your experience?

If you decided to get a divorce, it probably wasn't your first choice, but many people discover that their marriages are unsustainable. Sometimes you know right away, but sometimes things change. Those changes may be in your circumstances, your partner's behavior, or your own needs. Things happen -- life happens.

When it comes right down to it, divorce rates are simply information that carries no automatic judgment. Trends don't define you. You need people around you who will listen to your story and understand your point of view.

If you have questions about divorce or about your legal options, please don't hesitate to contact an attorney.

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