Millennials and Divorce

Millennials and Divorce

September 01, 2017

One common belief is that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, but it turns out this is a misleading statistic. That’s because that number takes into account the people who have gone through multiple divorces, not just those who are on their first marriage. When you consider this, the divorce rate is closer to 40 percent, and it’s actually been decreasing in the last couple of decades. It’s not clear why that is, but some professionals have a few reasons in mind, and they have to do with some habits of millennials, who have been divorcing with less frequency than past generations. Check out which habits of millennials might have led to a decline in the divorce rate.

Millennials Get Married Later in Life

Plenty of studies have shown that the younger you get married, the higher your chance of divorce will be. So it’s good news that millennials are getting married later than previous generations. In general, millennials are much less likely to be married in their 20s than their parents were. A Pew Research survey reported that the average age of a millennial’s marriage is now 29 for men and 27 for women. Compare this to the average age of 23 for men and 21 for women in 1963.

More Women Are Going to College and Entering the Workforce

Decades ago, women were less likely to go to college. And for those who did, it wasn’t uncommon to get married and start a family soon after graduation, meaning many women never entered the workforce before marriage. Now, however, more women are choosing to go to college and even get postgraduate degrees. Then they want a few years to start their career before getting married, which is another reason the typical millennial woman doesn’t get married until age 27. And since these millennials get married later in life, their chance of divorce naturally goes down.

Cohabitation Rates Are Higher

During the 1960s and 70s, cohabiting before marriage was frowned upon, which is why very few couples did it. But, over the years, it’s become more accepted and even encouraged. In fact, it’s been found that couples who live together before marriage often have a lower chance of divorce. And it turns out the majority of millennials live with their partner before getting married, which likely contributes to the lower divorce rate.

They Feel Less Pressure to Get Married

In the past, many young people felt they had a duty to get married, especially in their 20s. It was just something they felt they were supposed to do to please their parents and society in general. But millennials are known for ignoring certain societal rules and living by their own guidelines. They know they have more options now, and that they can simply live with a partner or even stay single for as long as they want. And since millennials are less likely to be religious than previous generations, they don’t all have the pressure of their religion telling them to get married and start a family.

All these reasons come together to create the lower divorce rate we see today, especially among young adults. Of course, people in all generations are still susceptible to the possibility of divorce. If you think your marriage may be over, contact the  Edgar & Dow so you can talk to an experienced divorce lawyer today.


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