Divorce Industry Statistics

By Bedbible Research Center / March 02, 2023

In this study of the divorce industry we have uncovered the most accurate measure of the size of the industry. In uncovering of the statistics of the divorce industry we have utilized data from independent surveys, as well as public data from national and international databases such as the OECD Familiy Database, the CDC Family Life Database, the National court database (PACER), the electronic filing database CM/ECF, and the US department of commerce database on industry specific output. To support the findings we also cross referenced these findings with data from peer-reviewed research papers.

To gain full access to the dataset please contact: researchcenter@bedbible.com. We kindly ask that you reference this article when using facts, data or statistics from the dataset.

Key statistics

  • The divorce industry is worth $55 billion.
  • The average divorce cost $43,941.
  • The market size for the divorce law market is growing +8% YoY.
  • The average hourly rate for divorce lawyers in the United States is $270 per hour.
  • The divorce industry has grown x5 in the past 20 years.
  • The online search for “divorce lawyer” has increased +50% since 2004.
  • The number of divorces has stayed roughly the same in the past 20 years.
  • The average cost per divorce is $38,175.
  • 67% hire lawyers for their divorce.
  • A divorce with children is on average 30-40% more expensive than one without.
  • The average cost per divorce has increased by almost $30,000+ in the past +22 years.
  • Legal services for divorces makes up 6.1% of the total $901.8 billion market size for legal services.

The size of the divorce industry

The total divorce industry involves not only attorneys and legal fees paid for filing a divorce. During litigation, negotiation, and trial a lot of different professions are used such as mental health professionals, accountants, and other expert witnesses.

YearIndustry sizeDivorces & annulmentsRate per 1000US CapitaCost per divorce
2000$11 billion1,157,8344.1282,398,554$9,500
2001$14 billion1,141,8824285,470,493$12,260
2002$15 billion1,124,5663.9288,350,252$13,338
2003$17 billion1,106,2173.8291,109,820$15,367
2004$16 billion1,087,6073.7293,947,885$14,711
2005$15 billion1,068,6343.6296,842,670$14,036
2006$18 billion1,109,0863.7299,753,098$16,229
2007$19 billion1,089,8763.6302,743,399$17,433
2008$17 billion1,069,9323.5305,694,910$15,931
2009$20 billion1,079,7923.5308,512,035$18,269
2010$22 billion1,120,2583.6311,182,845$20,003
2011$25 billion1,129,9563.6313,876,608$22,205
2012$28 billion1,076,6143.4316,651,321$26,007
2013$31 billion1,053,9383.3319,375,166$29,413
2014$32 billion1,030,5093.2322,033,964$31,052
2015$38 billion1,006,2843.1324,607,776$37,762
2016$37 billion981,6313327,210,198$37,692
2017$39 billion956,3952.9329,791,231$40,778
2018$45 billion963,2062.9332,140,037$46,718
2019$47 billion1,069,8233.2334,319,671$43,932
2020$42 billion1,142,2033.4335,942,003$36,771
2021$51 billion1,213,1913.6336,997,624$42,037
2022$55 billion1,251,6723.7338,289,857$43,941
2023*$54 billion1,189,9883.5339,996,563$45,378
2024*$53 billion1,261,3873.5360,396,357$42,017
2025*$54 billion1,337,0703.5382,020,138$40,386
2026*$52 billion1,430,6653.5408,761,548$36,346
2027*$56 billion1,487,8923.5425,112,010$37,637
2028*$59 billion1,547,4083.5442,116,490$38,128
2029*$63 billion1,655,7263.5473,064,644$38,049
2030*$67 billion1,755,0703.5501,448,523$38,175

Comparatively Americans spend more money on suing ex-partners than they do on boks, dairy cows and milk, bread and bakery products, building aircraft engines and parts, veterinary care, havy trucks, or drilling oil and gas wells:

  • Americans spent $39 billion on books
  • Americans spent $38 billion on dairy cows and milk
  • Americans spent $36 billion on bread and other bakery products
  • Americans spent $36 billion on building aircraft engines and parts
  • Americans spent $30 billion on veterinary care
  • Americans spent $30 billion on manufacturing heavy trucks
  • Americans spent $29 billion on drilling oil and gas wells.

Search interest for a “divorce lawyer” online since 2004

search interest in divorce lawyer in the united states since 2004

Other facts

  • 59% of divorced people report that they regret not being more financially independent in their marriage.
  • The divorce rate was 15.8 per 1,000 people.
  • The emotional toll of divorce can be significant. Divorce is the second most stressful life event, after the death of a spouse or child.
  • In addition to legal and financial services, the divorce industry also includes services such as counseling, therapy, and support groups. The cost of therapy for divorce-related issues can range from $75 to $200 per session, depending on the therapist’s location and qualifications.

What did we look at?

“Divorce industry” as a broad term. By itself it might not provide the most accurate and common understanding of what we are specifically referring to.

To be more specific; when we talk about divorce industry market size we are referring to the revenue generated through legal services provided to parties in or surrounding a divorce. That includes litigation, paper drafting, filing fees and other legal services provides to divorcees.

The divorce industry comprises lawyers, paralegals, mediators, therapists, financial advisors, and other professionals who help individuals navigate the legal, emotional, and financial complexities of divorce. These professionals charge fees for their services, and the cost of divorce can quickly add up, depending on the complexity of the case.

What is driving the market growth?

One of the most significant factors driving the growth of the divorce industry is the increasing rate of divorce. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 39% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. This has led to a surge in demand for legal and other divorce-related services.

Another factor contributing to the growth of the divorce industry is the complexity of divorce cases. Divorces involve dividing assets, determining custody arrangements, and establishing child support and alimony payments. These issues can be highly contested and require the services of legal and financial experts.

A third factor contributing to the growth of the divorce industry is the increasing rate of divorces that required litigation and legal action.

A forth factor is an increase in the fees for the legal services provided to couples who are looking to get a divorce.

The forth factor is mainly driven by both an increase in the hourly rate of divorce lawyers. But it is also occurring due to rising complexities of divorce cases.

Main database sources: