This year, Hispanic Heritage Month takes place between September 15 through October 15, 2017. New Direction Family Law proudly celebrates this occasion and the Hispanic population of North Carolina. For some significant background information, “Hispanic” refers to a person’s origin from Mexico, Spain, Central or South America, Puerto Rico, or Cuba. As of 2016, people of Hispanic heritage comprised over 17% of the American population, making them the largest minority group in the country. Further, there are estimates that the population will skyrocket in the coming decades.
As a family law firm, we would be remiss without noting that studies have shown that Hispanic women are less likely to get divorced than women of other ethnicities. Further, the divorce rate amongst Hispanic families that are socioeconomically challenged is less impacted by poverty than families of other ethnicities. In other words, poverty is generally correlated with high divorce rates; however, economic disadvantage does not seem to have the same effect on married Hispanic couples. The question that people have tried to answer in response to this information is: why?
One common thread amongst people who study Hispanic families, especially first generation Hispanic families, is the significance of “familismo.” Familismo, or “familism”, is a belief system in which a person puts family before themselves or others. An article published last year by Nicholas H. Wolfinger and W. Bradford Wilcox, concluded that familism was the primary reason for the statistically lower divorce rate among Hispanic women.
The second, and regularly cited reason for lower divorce rates is religion. Many Hispanic people were raised in a deeply religious belief system, such as the Catholic Church. Therefore, a great shame and reluctance to divorce exists, as to divorce is heavily discouraged by the church. In addition, there has been a correlation between happy marriages and church attendance amongst Hispanic couples, which Wolfinger and Wilcox attributed to a “love thy neighbor” mentality fostered within the church.
Instead of reaching some broad conclusion as to why the divorce rate is lower for Hispanic women, we would rather say that the practices of putting family first and of loving each other are admirable ones, and ones we would like to celebrate this month.
If you are separating or seeking a divorce, you need an attorney. The attorneys at New Direction Family Law have spent years fighting for the legal rights of our clients in all types of family law cases. We provide tough, thorough representation and will work tirelessly for you. We serve Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and Durham counties. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to arrange a discreet consultation, or visit us online at our website.
Sarah J. Hink
New Direction Family Law