Where Agents May Encounter More Divorcing Clients

September 16, 2019

In some parts of the country where divorce rates are high, real estate professionals may find themselves handling more contentious transactions with emotional clients. LendingTree researchers recently analyzed and compared marriage and divorce rates from 2007 to 2008 and 2016 to 2017 to identify the states with the highest and lowest rates of divorce.

The states with the highest divorce rates are:

  • Arkansas
  • Kentucky
  • Alabama
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia

In general, the South has some of the highest divorce rates in the country and includes six of the top 10 states regarding divorce rates, according to the study.

However, divorce rates have fallen in 48 states since 2008. Wyoming and Washington, D.C., have seen the largest drops in divorce rates in the past 10 years, according to the study. For example, from 2008 to 2017, divorce rates in Washington, D.C., dropped from 3.4% to 1.4%; Wyoming’s divorce rate fell by 1.3% over that same time period.

Overall, the states with the lowest divorce rates are:

  • Hawaii
  • New York
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Vermont

The typical divorce can cost as much as $15,500, according to a report by Nolo, a legal advice site. “In addition to legal fees and paperwork to process the divorce, divorcing couples may need to pay additional fees when they sell a home or divide other assets,” the LendingTree study notes. “They might have to buy a new house or rent an apartment, which may entail [commission] fees, down payments, security deposits, and mortgage payments or rent. That’s not even counting alimony or child support payments—all a significant part of divorce costs.”

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Center for REALTOR® Development recently did a podcast on what to expect when working with divorcing clients.

Study: Where Divorce Rates Are Highest (And Lowest),” LendingTree (Sept. 11, 2019)