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52.7 percent of marriages will end in divorce, study says

Many couples in Minnesota may wed with the idea that they will be with their partner until death. However, many factors can change an individual's life until they find that staying married with their partner is simply no longer feasible. In fact, the popular notion that about half of all marriages end in divorce has seen some recent support, at least according to one recent survey. Data from a survey preformed at the University of Maryland reports that, if current trends stay the same, 52.7 percent of marriages will end in divorce.

That being said, it still remains true that the average marriage these days lasts longer than in years past, and that fewer young couples are seeking a divorce. However, young people these days are waiting longer to marry than in years past. For example, between 1940 and 1970, women wed at approximately age 20 on average. These days, that number has risen to age 27. Moreover, people who do divorce now are not getting remarried as often as in years past.

If the above is true, why is the divorce rate remaining at around 50 percent? Some of it has to do with the marriage and divorce habits of the baby boomer generation. Between 1990 to 2012, the number of people between ages 55 to 64 seeking a divorce has approximately doubled, according to some researchers. Moreover, the divorce rate has tripled for those age 65 or older, researchers say.

Why might baby boomers be more apt to divorce when compared to younger generations? Well, as lifespans have increased, individuals in their 50s and 60s still have a lot of life ahead of them, and may not want to spend that time in an unhappy marriage. Also, more women these days have careers that allow them to be financially independent, so that they can divorce with the knowledge that they can support themselves financially. Finally, divorce laws have changed over the past few decades, making getting a divorce easier than it had been in years past.

As this shows, divorce isn't limited necessarily to the young or the old. In the end, while most people do not marry with the intention of later divorcing, no one can tell what the future will bring. For some couples, the decision to divorce is for the best of both partners.

Source: Bloomberg, "Boomers Are Making Sure the Divorces Keep Coming," Ben Steverman, June 17, 2016

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