Tracking the divorce trends

In Clark County, Wash. there has been an increase in the number of people divorcing, even though everywhere else in the country the numbers seem to be going down. The Columbian has a story on the matter, delving into why the numbers are down nationally and coming up with no solid conclusion as to why they’re going up locally.

This is what we call a trend story, the most frustrating kind because no one can seem to pinpoint why something is happening. There is speculation in the story that it could be because it’s easier to get a divorce in Washington than it is in Oregon. When Portland couples split up, say, one of them moves to Vancouver, because you only have to have been a resident of this state for a day to get a divorce. So while Vancouverites cross the Columbia to avoid sales taxes, Portlanders are crossing the river to avoid their spouses. In Portland the numbers appear to have gone down.

Still, would that explain the sudden jump? Did laws change recently in one state or the other? Did some divorce market maven get the word out, explaining what is yet unexplained?

We were wondering about divorce rates locally the other day, especially because people have been, you know, having more money troubles during the most recent three years. During 2010 I can say I knew a lot of people who suddenly decided to divorce. I’m not sure any of them had anything to do with money. One in particular took me completely by surprise. I have a call into the county clerk’s office to see if there are any telling trends. Could be a story coming on it. I’ll let you know what I find out.

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