How does the way you approach marriage affect divorce? A revealing new study shows that the millennial generation – as well as those in “Generation X” – are getting divorced at lower rates than other demographics.

Researcher Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociology professor, reveals that the divorce rate fell between 8 and 18 percent (across several demographics, including “baby boomers”) between 2008 and 2016. There are several factors influencing the nation’s dropping divorce rate, particularly among couples under the age of 45.

 

Why are younger couples divorcing at a lower rate?

First and foremost, millennials and Gen Xers are waiting longer to get married. Whereas past generations often married very young and ended up divorcing, these couples are waiting until they are more settled in life to tie the knot. Statistically, couples who wait until their late 20s or early 30s to marry are less likely to divorce.

Today’s couples are also more educated than those of years past. Again, statistically, the more educated a couple is, the less likely they are to divorce. This may correlate with higher ages at the time of marriage, but it also concerns the knowledge of avenues designed to save marriages, including relationship counseling or individual therapies that give partners insight and tools to improve the marriage if it falters.

There’s also been an uptick in the number of couples who choose not to marry at all. Cohabitation without marriage is on the rise, and, of course, if you don’t get married, you can’t very well get divorced. At the same time, there can be a lot of confusion about the financial aspects of the relationship. As California does not recognize “common-law marriage,” having a written cohabitation agreement can reduce conflict if the relationship comes to an end.

Of course, there will always be couples who are unwilling – or unable – to continue on in a bad relationship. In that case, California law gives the opportunity to end a marriage without either partner being at fault for the split. If you are interested in learning more about options to end your relationship, particularly in a collaborative and positive way, reach out to an experienced family law attorney in your area.