AR second only to NV in divorce rates

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - There are discouraging numbers about divorce rates and Arkansas. We all know marriage isn't easy but it appears, in Arkansas, people have an even harder time making marriages work.

"When they're not taking the time to want to communicate with one another, when they're internalizing a lot of their frustrations and a lot of their feelings," said counselor, Jeff Cline.

They are signs Cline says might indicate it's time to examine where a relationship is at.

"People have a lot of unrealistic expectations going into marriage," said Cline.

According to the CDC, Arkansas is second in the nation, only to Nevada, when it comes to divorce rates. What's more, according to the Arkansas Department of Health, the northeast corner of the state has the highest divorce rate per capita.

"I think there are a lot of contributing factors to increasing divorce rates.  One of those is just as cultures change, I think it's become a lot more socially acceptable," said Cline.

Jeff Cline, at Better Life Counseling Center, says letting couples know before tying the knot the marital path isn't always a smooth one, can be one of the first steps to a successful marriage.

"Marriage can be challenging.   You're going to find some difficulties along the way and when that happens, you don't have to throw in the towel there," said Cline.

Cline says it might just be time for some help.

"Rather than just having separating be our initial response, it's really a time to pull together and figure out how do we fix things," said Cline.

Cline says research has shown something like pre-marital counseling can be time well spent before saying "I do"

"When they've really taken the time to get to know one another, when they've really looked at the relational dynamics, when they've really looked at all the specific issues that are likely to arise in marriage and cause distress," said Cline.

He adds it's that help before marriage, that can help later.

"Well I tell people all the time, you'll spend 50 thousand dollars on your wedding, why not spend a couple hundred dollars on some pre-marital counseling," said Cline.

The Better Life Counseling Center and a number of Region 8 churches are teaming up to host a  community video conference promoting healthy marriages and healthy relationships.

To register for the community video conference, log on to   It will be held April 89th 6p.m.- 9:30 p.m. and April 99th 8:30 a.m-1:15 p.m. The cost is 15 dollars per person.   It will be held at first united Methodist family life center. For more information call the Better Life Counseling Center at 870-935-4673

Below are links detailing national and county level divorce rates

Data & Reports

Scroll down to Vital stats

Click on 2005

Scroll down to Divorce and Annulments

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