According to national statistics, the divorce rate in the U.S. is 3.2 per 1,000 people. This number represents a decrease of almost 20 percent in the past 10 years. Overall, there has been a decrease of 25 percent in the number of couples getting divorced since 1980.
However, these numbers may not necessarily mean that the divorce rate is going down. National data also reveals that the marriage rate is also going down. There are fewer people getting married, which may mean why there are fewer divorces.
According to data by Pew Research, half of Americans ages 18 and older were married in 2017. This is down almost 10 percentage points since 1990.
Researchers point out that the decrease in divorces could partly be because it has become much more acceptable for couples to live together before they get married. Cohabitation often gives couples a good indication of what it would be like if they were to get married, however, it does not usually involve any “legal breaking up” if the relationship does not work out.
Another reason the divorce rate may be down is that millennials – those born between 1982 and 2000 – are putting off getting married. Many choose cohabitation, but there are also several other reasons cited by researchers as to why this generation delays walking down the aisle, including economic, the ability for women to delay having children, and the popularity of internet dating.
The one group that appears to maintain a consistently high divorce rate are baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964. While the overall divorce rate continued to decline, the divorce rate for baby boomers has more than doubled. For baby boomers who were 65 or older, that rate has tripled. The reason for the high rate is because many older adults who divorce often remarry, however, the rate of divorce for second and third marriages is even higher.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help
Whether a couple decides to marry or live together, there are certain legal documents that they can have a family law attorney prepare that will protect both of them in the event the relationship does not work out. These documents include prenuptial, postnuptial, or cohabitation agreements.
For couples who have decided to end their marriage, contacting a skilled family law attorney, like a family lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel Wright, can help ensure that their rights are protected during the divorce process and that they receive everything they are legally entitled to from the marital estate. If you are considering ending your marriage, call a law firm for an initial consultation to discuss your legal options.