Divorce is a fickle beast that most couples across the nation would rather not encounter. But whether you’ve already experienced it or are facing this life-changing event for the first time, chances are you had some pre-conceived notions about divorce before starting the process. But as some of our Florida readers might be quick to point out, much of our perception about divorce might be shaped by the media, begging the question: is media changing the way the public views divorce?

It’s hard not to ask this question, especially after last year’s announcement by the Catholic Church that it would reconsider how the Church views divorce and how it reacts to divorced couples. The fact of the matter is that the general public’s perceptions about divorce are changing. According to an article written by AARP, an upsurge in media coverage about divorce could be the reason why. The article points to several news columns, such as the Huffington Post’s divorce section and the New York Times feature called “Unhitched,” as examples of an increase in media coverage on a national level.

But these news stories are no longer solely about celebrity and high-asset divorces but about regular people and the struggles they contend with during a divorce. In an announcement made this month, the Sun Sentinel has promised residents in Broward and South Palm Beach counties a glimpse into the very real lives of people across Florida with the introduction of their new divorce columnist.

As AARP points out, divorce is hardly considered a social stigma anymore.  It is rather considered by many to be a regular life phase just like marriage or even death. Society’s changing view is the likely reason for the increased number of “gray divorces,” of people who are 50 years or older, and the likely reason why divorce is better understood now than it was a decade ago.

Source: AARP Blog, “Divorce, American Style,” Steve Mencher, Jan. 29, 2014