Is Divorce More Common in Families with a Child on the Autism Spectrum?


In our society, separation and divorce is a fairly common occurrence. Some estimate that up to 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. Parents of children on the autism spectrum also get divorced. Research on the divorce rate in families with children with special needs has been conflicting on whether or not parents of children with special needs are more likely to get divorced. The latest research on families with children on the autism spectrum found that the divorce rate among parents with a child on the spectrum in the family is the same as that of the general population.

Families who divorce cite irreconcilable differences, lack of intimacy, and conflict as reasons. Certainly raising a child with a developmental disability such as ASD is bound to contribute to feelings of disconnection and unhappiness.  On the other hand, when couples come together to cope with ASD, their marriages can grow stronger.

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Last Updated: June 3, 2020

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.

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