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Can’t Wait Any Longer? The Effects of Shorter Waiting Periods on Divorce and Remarriage

Can’t Wait Any Longer? The Effects of Shorter Waiting Periods on Divorce and Remarriage Since the 1990s, many U.S. states have enacted or lengthened the waiting periods required for parties to divorce with the goal of strengthening marriage or at least discouraging divorce. I use the length of time by which some states have shortened their waiting periods to analyze how such waiting periods affect remarriage rates. I find that when the waiting period is shortened to 1.5 years or less, remarriage rates decrease for relatively young people but increase for older people. To the extent that remarriage is pivotal for older women impoverished by divorce to recover economically and emotionally, my results suggest that—though longer waiting periods might preserve some marriages—a prolonged period might reduce the welfare of older divorced women by hampering their remarriage prospects. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Law and Economics Review Oxford University Press

Can’t Wait Any Longer? The Effects of Shorter Waiting Periods on Divorce and Remarriage

American Law and Economics Review , Volume 23 (2): 52 – Oct 12, 2021

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Law and Economics Association. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
1465-7252
eISSN
1465-7260
DOI
10.1093/aler/ahab007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Since the 1990s, many U.S. states have enacted or lengthened the waiting periods required for parties to divorce with the goal of strengthening marriage or at least discouraging divorce. I use the length of time by which some states have shortened their waiting periods to analyze how such waiting periods affect remarriage rates. I find that when the waiting period is shortened to 1.5 years or less, remarriage rates decrease for relatively young people but increase for older people. To the extent that remarriage is pivotal for older women impoverished by divorce to recover economically and emotionally, my results suggest that—though longer waiting periods might preserve some marriages—a prolonged period might reduce the welfare of older divorced women by hampering their remarriage prospects.

Journal

American Law and Economics ReviewOxford University Press

Published: Oct 12, 2021

Keywords: J1; J12; J16; K36

References