You’ve likely heard people talk about how the divorce rate keeps climbing in the United States. They may say that divorce is just becoming the norm or that couples these days are more prone to it than couples from previous generations.
However, what you will find when you look into the data is that the divorce rate is actually dropping for most couples. For everyone younger than 50, the odds of divorce get a little bit lower every year. This is because couples are staying married, but it’s also because a lot of young couples put off marriage. Since they wait longer to get married and often cohabitate before doing so, some of these breakups are not divorce cases.
A rising rate
So why do so many people feel like the divorce rate is skyrocketing when the opposite is true for most couples?
What happened is that no-fault divorce laws began to come on the books in the 1970s. As they swept across the country, there was a massive increase in divorce cases simply because it was now easy and possible for couples to split up. Many people latched on to this increase, stating that it was the new trend, and they may not realize that things have dramatically changed over the last 50 years.
However, it has been found that gray divorce – over 50 – rates are rising. This is why the general trend only applies to younger couples. Older people, who are often empty-nesters, still have an increasing divorce rate.
Regardless of your age, if you want to end your marriage, it’s critical that you understand all of the legal steps that you’ll have to take.