North Carolina Divorce Rate & Statistics [2024 Updated]

North Carolina Divorce Rate & Statistics [2024 Updated]

Marriage and divorce rates are both in decline in the United States, and the average age for marriage and divorce is increasing with each passing year. Even with these declines, many North Carolinians will require the services of a family law attorney at some point in their lives. The North Carolina divorce rate is decreasing, but it can vary from place to place within the state.

Which Cities and Counties Have the Highest Divorce Rates in North Carolina?

According to a recent report, around 500,000 adults in North Carolina have been through a divorce. The city with the highest divorce rate in our state is Wadesboro. Around 14% of residents in the county seat of Anson County have been through at least one divorce. The top five cities with the highest divorce rates, in order, include:

  1. Wadesboro
  2. Kings Mountain
  3. Lenoir
  4. Reidsville
  5. Oxford

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 3.1 divorces per 1,000 people in North Carolina in 2019. That means that there are an average of 32,862 divorces per year. The average marriage rate is around 64,000 per year. According to the data, North Carolina’s divorce rate is higher than the national average, which is 2.3 per 1,000 people.

Divorce rates vary widely among counties in North Carolina, and the divorce rate is as low as 10% in one county. Here are the rankings of the counties that have the highest divorce percentages:

  1. Jones
  2. Rockingham
  3. Onslow
  4. Graham
  5. Pamlico
  6. Yancey
  7. Cumberland
  8. Cherokee

Following a similar national trend, fewer North Carolinians are getting divorced per year on average. Divorce rates stood at 5.1 per 1,000 in 1990 and have steadily decreased every year. By 2005, that rate had dropped to 4.1. As of 2021, the divorce rate was 3.2.

Average Age for Divorce

As the divorce rate in this country slowly declines, the median age for divorce across the country is steadily rising. In 1970, the average age of a woman going through her first divorce was 27.7. That year, the average age for a man going through his first divorce was 30.5. Forty years later, that number had increased significantly.

The most recent study shows that the average age for a man going through his first divorce is now 42.6. The median age of a woman’s first divorce is 40.1. Over that time period, the age gap between men and women has remained the same at 2.8 years.

These figures vary based on ethnicity. Asian women have the highest median age when they first divorce (44.6), while Hispanic women have the youngest median age (38). Education is another significant factor that determines at which age someone goes through a divorce. The more highly educated a man or woman is, the older they tend to be when they get divorced.

Women with a graduate or professional degree had an average age of 42.5 when they divorced, compared with women who had some college but did not have a college degree. These women have an average age of 36.9 when they divorce.


Q: What Percentage of Marriages End in Divorce in North Carolina?

A: North Carolina has a divorce rate of 3.2 per 1,000. That means that in any given year, 3.2 people out of every 1,000 North Carolina residents will get divorced. Since 1990, this rate has decreased significantly. Thirty years ago, the divorce rate was 5.1 per 1,000 people. This matches the national downward trend for divorces.

Q: Is North Carolina a 50-50 Divorce State?

A: North Carolina is not a 50-50 divorce state; it is an equitable division state when it comes to dividing assets and debts during a divorce proceeding. The courts view marital assets as the shared property of both spouses. While the division of assets is generally equal, the state does not necessarily follow a strict 50-50 policy. A judge may decide that evenly dividing assets and property is not fair to one party. Those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Is North Carolina a No-Fault Divorce State?

A: North Carolina is a no-fault divorce state. This means that anyone wishing to initiate a divorce does not have to show that the other party is at fault for making the marriage unsustainable. Although there is no requirement to find fault, North Carolina does require that both spouses live in separate homes for at least one full year before the divorce case can be filed.

Q: What Is the Average Age for Divorce?

A: The average age for divorce in this country is around 40 years old. The average age for divorce has steadily increased over the past 50 years. In 1970, the average divorce rate was around 30, with women divorcing at a slightly younger age (28). Couples with higher levels of education tend to divorce at later ages. Ethnicity also plays a role in divorce, as Asian women tend to divorce at a later age than Hispanic women.

Q: Is Education a Factor When It Comes to Divorce?

A: Education could be a factor when it comes to divorce. Education levels can affect how old someone is, on average, when they go through their first divorce. National data shows that men and women who have a graduate degree tend to be years older than non-degree holders when they go through their first divorce. The national trend in divorce rates is going down, which may be correlated to lowering rates of marriage.

Schedule Your North Carolina Divorce Consultation Today

No one enters into a marriage with plans of divorcing, but the reality is that a significant percentage of couples in North Carolina will separate and divorce. With so many important considerations, like asset division and child custody, having the right family law attorney can help you navigate critical decisions that could affect the rest of your life.

The attorneys at Lehnhardt Price Family Law can provide compassionate and comprehensive legal counsel for spouses going through a divorce. We strive to protect your rights and work toward a fair resolution to your case. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.