It might seem unusual to be divorced before you hit the big 3-0, but you’re not alone. While it’s true that Americans are getting married later in life, many are still tying the knot in their 20s—and about 10% are divorced by the time they turn 30.
Divorce for younger couples has advantages and disadvantages, plus specific obstacles you might need to overcome. Our goal with this blog is to offer insight and tips that can help you feel more prepared. After all, divorce is not just the end of a marriage. It offers an opportunity to start anew.
Couples who divorce young are less likely to face the challenges of child custody and child support, as there is a higher chance that they have not had children yet. They may also avoid complications associated with real estate or other significant assets if they have not yet purchased a family home. Property division and custody are two of the most contested areas of any divorce or separation in Southern California. With a divorce under 30, you may not have to deal with these issues at all.
As of 2020, consumers in California had an average of about $131,000 in debt. People in their 20s had a lower average, with Generation Z (18-23) coming in at $16,063 and Millennials (24-39) coming in at $87,448. These numbers show younger consumers typically have less debt, which can make divorce less complicated.
Another advantage of divorcing in your 20s is simple: you have more time to figure out what you want to do with your life. You have more time to find a new partner—if that’s what you want. You can decide to focus on your career and put your love life on hold. You can choose to take a different path and start a family. You have a long and open road ahead, something that older divorcees just don’t have.
Divorce under 30 is not all sunshine, rainbows, and opportunity. There are disadvantages to divorcing young, and there are obstacles you’ll have to overcome. However, you can prepare yourself so they have less of a negative impact on your life.
Young divorcees may feel as though their support system is lacking. They may feel as though they’ve failed because they didn’t “stick it out” and try to make their marriage work. Some were the first of their friends to marry and are now the first to divorce, meaning they have no one who can relate to what they’re going through. When you add the fact that, at their age, they’ll probably be invited to friends’ weddings, baby showers, and the like, it can be extremely difficult to deal with.
It is important to seek help from friends and family. You can even join support groups online or in-person to talk to others who are going through what you’re experiencing. Try to communicate what you’re feeling, and you may be surprised to find more people are ready to support and help than you thought. You can even talk to a therapist or other mental health professional for coping tips and guidance.
For some people who are divorcing in their 20s, they will have children and family homes to deal with. Their children are more likely to be young—infants or toddlers who have far greater needs than older children. This can present complexities related to custody and child support, but by working with an attorney and considering alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation, you can try to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with your ex that is also in your young child’s best interests.
Let’s shake the concept of being “young and naïve” as a reason for a marriage not working out. Some marriages are destined to end, no matter how young or old the couple may be. If you are under 30 and are facing the idea of divorce, take a proactive approach and involve an attorney who can advise you of your rights and protect your future. You’re young, and this is all the more reason to position yourself for a bright and successful life—one that’s free from the burden of an unsuccessful marriage.
At the Edgar & Dow, our Southern California divorce attorneys have been practicing family law for over a decade. We know the challenges that young couples face when dealing with a divorce, and we are here to help you navigate these so you can move on. We’re honest and we work hard to find the best possible outcome for each client.
Call (888) 251-9618 today to find out how we can help you.
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