Panama City, Florida boasts about being home of the the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” with international recognition for the natural beauty of our spot on Florida’s Emerald Coast.
But the title “Florida’s Divorce Capital” is not one you’ll see advertised but Panama City has the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita divorce rate in the nation.
According to data crunched by the Wall Street Journal in 2010, Florida is in the top ten states with the highest rates of divorce. When results are evaluated by county, Bay County (Panama City) had the highest rate of divorce in Florida.
Furthermore, the nationwide publication, The Daily Beast, reveals that Florida also has 11 of the 50 cities in America with the highest divorce rates. Their research reveals that Panama City has the highest per capita divorce rate in the nation, with nearly 16 percent of the population being divorced.
This is not news to Panama City divorce attorneys, who have to ask, “why?”
Florida marital counselor Dr. Joel Prather has several theories as to why Panama City is home to so many divorcees. These include:
• Couples coming to the area for job opportunities that are then lost, causing financial strain
• Disproportionate amount of military personnel in the area, leading to divorces when troops are deployed or when front-line troop members come home injured
• High joblessness rate among long-time residents due to company layoffs and other economic issues
• Easy access to bars, nightclubs, alcohol, creating a “party” atmosphere that can disrupt quality time spent nurturing a relationship
• Temptations found in that “party” atmosphere that may lead to infidelity
One significant factor contributing to the high divorce rate in Florida is the flexibility and simplicity of the state’s divorce-related laws. It is somewhat easier to obtain a divorce in Florida than in several other states.