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Texas town leads nation in divorce increase - but why?

One divorce statistic that often gets tossed around claims that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. This figure can be hard to confirm, and it undoubtedly fluctuates from year to year. A more interesting and verifiable statistic has to do with where these divorces are occurring.

The small Texas Panhandle town of Borger has seen a steady rise in divorces since 2007. So steady, in fact, that it gained more divorced residents over the past five years than any other city in the United States -- rather staggering for a town of only 13,530 people. But what makes its residents so prone to breakups?

The answer may not lie in Borger itself, but in certain conditions the town has that lead people all over the country to file for divorce. One of its main industries, farming, has suffered in recent years, causing economic strife for many of its residents. The drought that swept across Texas in 2011 created extra hardship for Borger families, and it's commonly understood that money problems in a marriage are one of the top causes of divorce.

Borger did see a boom in another of its primary industries: oil. But that also led to busier, more erratic schedules for oilfield workers. In any industry, work stress and long periods away from home can cause significant marriage problems.

The town's high rate of violent crime isn't helping. Last year there were 89 violent crimes for every 10,000 people, a figure that dwarfs nearby large cities. The stress of living in a high-crime area -- let alone being married to someone who might commit a violent crime -- is likely contributing to the divorce rate.

Still, other major cities in the U.S. with similar problems have remained relatively unchanged in their divorce rates. Los Angeles saw a decline of .2 percent in its number of divorced residents, and New York stayed about the same.

No matter where you live, if you're contemplating divorce, you'll want to find a skilled family law attorney to help you navigate the process. With any luck, the problems that led to your divorce -- whether or not they're a product of your surroundings -- won't prevent you from finding future success in life.

Source: The Houston Chronicle, "Gusher of Texas oil-patch divorces leads breakup trend," Frank Bass, Dec. 19, 2012

  • Our firm handles divorce and other family law matters for Texas residents. To learn more about our practice, visit our Dallas divorce page.

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