As generations change, so too do marriage and divorce

It's common to hear that 50% of marriages in America end in divorce. This statistic is misleading at best, flat-out wrong at worst. The divorce rate skyrocketed in the 1960s and '70s, but it has been falling for decades.

As the generations change, they bring changes in marriage, and these in turn bring changes in divorce.

Millennials have continued a decades-long trend toward getting married later in life. According to some researchers, the median age of first marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men. It's more common than it once was for couples to live together before marriage, and one study found that young couples are in relationships for almost five years on average before they get married. Some researchers believe these factors contribute to making a marriage less likely to end in divorce.

Meanwhile, many researchers have noted a phenomenon they call "gray divorce," in which older couples are dissolving their marriages. The rate of divorce among people over 50 has doubled since 1990. However, it's important to note that gray divorces account for only about a quarter of all divorces in the United States.

Still, perhaps the most important factor in divorce is not age, but marital past. According to some studies, people who have divorced in the past are more likely to get divorced again.

Of course, every divorce is unique to the people going through it. All these studies and statistics can seem distant and irrelevant when you're trying to figure out how to divide your property and responsibility for your children. Divorce is inherently personal.

However, people going through divorce need help from an attorney who can see the big picture, and help them reach a settlement that gives them the tools they need to build a better life after divorce.

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