Does the United States have the world's highest divorce rate?

You're lamenting the state of your marriage, telling a friend that you are thinking about getting a divorce.

"Well, that makes sense," they tell you. "After all, the United States has the highest divorce rate in the world."

That gets you thinking. Is divorce really all that common? Is there something about American culture that makes us split up more often?

To start with, it is a myth that the divorce rate is No. 1 in the world. It is actually No. 6. The highest divorce rates in the world, in order, belong to:

  1. Russia
  2. Belarus
  3. Ukraine
  4. Moldova
  5. The Cayman Islands

Some of the lowest rates in the world go to countries like Italy, Brazil and Sri Lanka.

As for culture, that does play a big role. Experts note that places with lower divorce rates do not necessarily have more happy, romantic marriages. Other things, like financial stability and religion, play a serious role. Someone who is unhappily married may stay together in another country because they think they have a religious obligation to do so or because they can't support themselves financially when the same person in the United States would file for divorce. That says something about a U.S. culture that values individuality, as well as the growing equality between the genders in the workforce and the way that gives more financial stability to both women and men on their own.

Still thinking about filing for divorce? If you are, you need to know what legal steps to take and what rights you have. Divorce is common here, but that doesn't mean you should take the process lightly. You need to know how to work hard for your own future.

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