Divorce is as stitched into the fabric of the nation as marriage. In fact, with over a million divorces a year in the U.S., divorce is a $50 billion industry, bigger than weddings. So we wondered, what if we couldn’t get divorced?
More than 2 million couples tie the knot every year in the U.S., and as many as half of those are expected to end in divorce. With the average American getting married in their late 20s, if there was no divorce, we could see more couples pushing marriage into their 30s, if even at all.
“It's possible that if there were no divorce it would delay marriage,” says Howard Chernick, professor of economics at Hunter College. “Maybe it's less risky to try cohabitating for another two years or something.”
Right now, close to 60 percent of children are born to married couples, children born out of wedlock could become the new majority in a world with no divorce.
“We could end up like Scandinavian countries with less marriage and people having children in a committed relationship or even by themselves much more often than we do here,” says Louise Rafkin, writer for The New York Times divorce column, “Unhitched.”
However, without the choice to end an unhappy marriage, discreet online dating sites could see an uptick in traffic.
“Ashley Madison would be bigger than Google,” says Waco O’Guin, co-creator and executive producer of “Brickleberry” on Comedy Central. “If there was no divorce I would definitely be a shareholder of AshleyMadison.com.”
The big losers in this scenario – lawyers, the $40 billion wedding industry and the trillion dollar real estate business.
In a world without divorce, take this sound advice to get through your lifelong marriage.
Eat chicken teriyaki and cry in it,” says Roger Black, co-creator and executive producer of “Brickleberry” on Comedy Central. “Get an X-Box One. Get some Halo multi-player, and maybe some Call Of Duty and get the frustrations out.”
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ABC News' Dan Kloeffler, David J. Fazekas and Maurice Abbate contributed to this episode.