Most people consider their wedding day among the greatest and most important days of their lives.  A couple’s wedding day is filled with excitement and optimism about a future the couple plans to build together.  After the honeymoon ends and life as a married couple begins, many couples do not achieve the “happily ever after” ending anticipated on their wedding day.

Recent statistics indicate that nearly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce.  Nationally, the divorce rate for those who are in their first marriage is approximately 41%-50%.  The divorce rate goes up significantly for individuals who are in a second or third marriage.  Statistics indicate approximately 60% to 67% of second marriages fail; 73% to 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

Where does Arizona rank nationally when it comes to divorce?  It turns out that Arizona has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.  According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Census Bureau approximately 10.8 out of every 1000 Arizona men got divorced the prior year; the national average for men is 9.2 per 1000.  The divorce rate for Arizona women is even higher at 11.9 out of every thousand women.  The national average for women is 9.7 per 1000.

Based on these numbers, Arizona had the 10th highest divorce rate in the country.  The states that rank ahead of Arizona include: Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, Kentucky, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

There are a number of possible explanations as to why Arizona ranks so high nationally.  Arizona is a no-fault divorce state.  This means that you do not have to provide a specific reason for wanting to get divorced.  This makes it easier than some states where a party seeking divorce must prove why the divorce is being sought.  This makes it easier for couples to get a divorce without an attorney.  Even if the other spouse disagrees the divorce will be granted.

Another explanation could be the difficult economy.  It is no secret that Arizona has been one of the most hard-hit states in the country by the financial crisis.  Many Arizona families have lost their jobs or homes.  Financial stress and crisis often leads to marital discord and divorce.

No one can say for sure why Arizona’s divorce rate is so high.  Every couple has their own individual and specific reasons for seeking a divorce.  Whatever the reasons may be, it is apparent that married couples in Arizona are among the most likely in the country to not live “happily ever after.”