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Divorce rate on the decline

When couples apply for divorce, they may find the process complex and confusing. They may have to arrange child custody agreements, establish property division and negotiate the terms of the divorce. However, Pennsylvania residents may be surprised to learn that the often-quoted statistic that claims that around 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce is actually inaccurate. According to data from a New York Times blog, the rate of divorce in the U.S. has been steadily dropping for years since its high levels in the 1970s and 1980s.

The data shows that approximately 70 percent of couples who married in the 1990s have remained married for at least 15 years. This number was only 65 percent for couples married in the 1970s and 1980s. Couples who have gotten married in the 2000s are getting divorced even less frequently. There are several possible reasons for this declining divorce rate.

One of the primary reasons cited for this trend is the fact that many couples are getting married later in life when they are more mature and financially stable. In the 1950s, the average age of marriage was 23 for men and 20 for women. In 2004, these numbers were 27 for men and 26 for women. Another reason for the lower divorce rate is the changed nature of marriage itself. With more women in the workforce since the feminist movement of the 1970s, marriage now puts more emphasis on shared love, ideals, responsibilities and incomes.

If this trend continues into the future, it is estimated that only one-third of all marriages will end in divorce. However, even though divorce rates are dropping, divorce issues can still be complex. An attorney may be able to help their client through the divorce mediation process by helping to resolve issues related to visitation, custody, paternity and property division.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Truth About The Divorce Rate Is Surprisingly Optimistic", Brittany Wong, December 02, 2014

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