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Accurate rate of divorce is not as simple as it may seem

There is often a lot of discussion about the state of marriage in the U.S. in this day and age. Numbers are frequently thrown about, especially the statistic that says half of all marriages end in divorce. Some say that the divorce rate has started to decline, starting in the 1980s but a new study recently released says otherwise.

Michigan couples may be interested to learn that the divorce rate may not be increasing or decreasing but rather staying stagnant. But when a control is used, such as the age composition of the married public, the rate of divorce may actually have increased by as much as 40 percent since the 1980s.

The reason for the shocking discovery is that data on divorce is hard to collect and often not accomplished in a uniform manner. The American Community Survey completed in 2008 by the Census Bureau took note of the lack of good data on divorce and marriage and added questions related to these topics to the survey. This new study is hopefully the first of many that comes from the results of the additional questioning.

One important to point out is that divorce has not increased evenly across all age ranges. It appears that the baby boomer generation is wrought with marital instability. The rate was high during the 1980s when boomers were in their 20s and 30s and the increasing rate shifts with the boomers as they continue to age, now placing the high rates of divorce among those in their 50s and 60s.

On the other hand, divorce rates are low in comparison among younger Americans, for a number of reasons. Couples are waiting longer before tying the knot and this may play a role in the low divorce rate. But as more couples opt to live together before marriage, there are more children born to cohabitating, unmarried parents, which can create other family law issues.

Whatever the age range or marriage success rate, divorce can still happen. Couples who are considering divorce or marital separation can work together or separately with a Farmington Hill divorce attorney to get advice and achieve the best outcome possible.

Source: The Times Herald, "Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault," Christopher Ingraham, March 28, 2014

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