In recent years, some analysts have tried to downplay the common belief that half of marriages lead to divorce. While divorce rates have declined since their peak in the 1980s, one recent study concluded that 52.7 of marriages end in a divorce. This is mostly because of the increasing divorce rate among older people. Since 1990, the divorce rate of individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 has doubled.
Among those who are 65 and older, the divorce rate has tripled since 1990. There are three main reasons why older Americans are getting divorced at a higher rate even though research indicates that they aren’t any less happy while married. First, divorce laws are not as strict as they were in the past. Second, as Americans live longer, many have decided to live their lives on their own terms.
Finally, women are gaining more access to the workplace and the financial independence that comes with it. Changing attitudes toward marriage have impacted younger couples as well. The average age that a woman gets married is now 27. Between 1940 and 1970, that age was roughly 20. On average, a first marriage will last at least 12 years.
If a marital dispute leads to divorce, there are many issues that a couple must resolve prior to the marriage officially dissolving. For instance, it may be necessary to determine how a retirement plan will be split or whether or not an individual may be entitled to spousal support. Depending on the length of the marriage, it may be possible for an individual to obtain social security benefits based on the other spouse’s work record.