Depending upon your age, you may remember the days when most couples got married and did so when they were in their early twenties or even younger. They quickly began having children despite the fact that many were not well settled in their careers, or even had formulated their life goals. Unfortunately, in many cases that resulted in a high rate of divorce that continues to be seen even as they enter what should be their golden years – in fact, the “grey divorce” rate is on the rise.

By contrast, the overall divorce rate in the United States has taken a precipitous downward turn, dropping 18 percent from 2008 to 2016. Experts trying to figure out why that has happened credit the generation known as the “millennials”: they say that they are waiting longer to marry and making more considered decisions based on stronger foundations. As a result, their marriages have turned out to be more enduring.

According to an analysis conducted by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen, millennials have an interest in establishing themselves in their careers and making sure that their finances and education are in place before they embark on starting a family, and as a result, their marriages are lasting longer. By contrast, couples who have less money and less education are avoiding marriage entirely. Interestingly, their relationships also tend to be less stable, and the same is true for the married couples who are now in their 50s, 60s and 70s. The divorce rate for those between the ages of 55 and 64 has doubled and for those 65 and older has tripled, yet the overall divorce rate has dropped, making the strength of the younger generation’s marriages even more obvious.

According to Cohen, “One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated. Marriage is more and more an achievement of status, rather than something that people do regardless of how they’re doing.”  Other experts point to the fact that many millennials have the unfortunate experience of having watched their own parents go through divorces that traumatized them, and as a result, they are being far more careful in their selection of a life partner. They are being less exclusive while dating and delaying making a decision as long as possible in order to guard against a future split.

Despite this reassuring trend, clearly divorce still happens, even amongst younger age groups. And if you find yourself in a position where you’re considering divorce, regardless of your age, it may be time to contact the Reinherz law team to discuss your options.

 

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