Although divorce has only become more and more socially accepted each decade, divorce rates have begun to go down since their peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s. According to an article by The New York Times, “Those who married in the 2000s are so far divorcing at even lower rates. If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce, according to data from Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist.” What is causing the decline in divorce?
People are Postponing Marriage
In the 1950s, the average age for marriage was 20 for women and 23 for men. In 2004, it was 26 for women and 27 for men. Nowadays, people are postponing getting married because they are waiting for the right partner or because they cannot afford it until they have been out of school for a few years. Many people get divorced because both spouses have changed since the initial wedding. By waiting, people are doing this changing before they meet or commit to their life partner.
People are Avoiding Marriage
Now that cohabitation is less and less taboo, many people are choosing to avoid marriage altogether. Many people who are children of divorced parents are not concerned with putting a label on their relationship. Furthermore, not only are there fewer unplanned pregnancies because of the rise and effectiveness of modern forms of birth control, there is also less pressure for a couple to get married just because they have gotten pregnant.
More People Have College Degrees
People with college degrees still tend to get married, but their divorce rate is lower than couples that do not boast a college education. The more educated a couple is, the less likely they are to divorce. According to the New York Times article, “[o]f college-educated people who married in the early 2000s, only about 11 percent divorced by their seventh anniversary, the last year for which data is available. Among people without college degrees, 17 percent were divorced.” The rate of divorce for couples without a college degree has remained about the same since the 1980s.
People are Marrying for Love
Now people tend to get married because they want to express their love and commitment to their spouse instead of just because it is something that everyone does. A young couple that is living together nowadays and breaks up might have gotten married and then divorced if they had been born a few decades earlier.
These statistics do not take into account the number of couples who have cohabitated for many years or even had kids together before breaking up. Many couples might also choose to stay together even though they are unhappy.
Although the divorce rate is no longer the oft-cited 50%, at least not for marriages that were entered into in the last decade and a half, over a third of marriages still end in divorce.
If you need skilled legal representation in a divorce, custody proceeding, restraining order, civil union or any other aspect of family law , you can turn to the Law Office of Renkin & Associates for the expertise that you deserve. Our attorneys fight hard to help clients protect their assets during a divorce, which is one of our San Diego divorce lawyers’ specialties.