The percentage of households in Michigan with a married couple at the head has changed from more than three-fourths in 1960 to fewer than half. This is among a number of facts about divorce and marriage in the state that can be gleaned from census reports.
While the marriage rate in Michigan has dropped, the divorce rate has as well. In 1980, the peak year for divorce in the state, there were 45,047 divorces. In 2018, there were 28,186. People are waiting to get married or not getting married at all. Couples who divorced in 2018 had a median length of marriage of nine years. Couples on their first marriages were divorcing after around ten years while for those in third marriages, the median was six years. Most of the couples that divorced were in a first marriage.
Among people 15 and older, African-American women and men were the least likely to be married, with the percentages at 21% and 27%. More than 40% of Latinos and over half of white Michigan residents were married. In 2018, fewer than 3% of all marriages were gay marriages. The least populated county in the state, Keewenaw, had the highest percentage of married adults. Another northern county, Roscommon, had the highest percentage of divorced people who had not remarried.
The age of people when they divorce and the reasons for the divorce are among the variables that may affect how the divorce proceeds. For example, couples who divorce because they feel they have grown apart might go through a relatively amicable process. If the divorce is because of abuse, addiction or infidelity, the couple might have to go to family law court to reach an agreement. For younger couples, child custody and support may be the primary issue while for older ones, retirement savings could be an issue.