You may hear that the divorce rate, except for those in their 50s and older, has consistently been falling in the United States. This is often painted as a dramatic change showing that young people have more stable marriages.
But is that really what is happening? There may be some other reasons for the drop in the divorce rate.
An increase in cohabitation with romantic partners
For instance, if you go back a generation or two, the odds that two people would cohabitate — living together prior to marriage — were very low. Society tended to frown upon it with more conservative overall views. While some people still did it, the negative stigma kept it from becoming a popular choice.
Today, though, research has found that the percentage of American adults who have ever cohabitated with a partner has passed the percentage who have been married at any point in their lives. It is clear that the views on couples living together without being married have changed.
As such, younger couples may have rushed into marriage — and then divorce — in the past. Today, they simply do not get married, so they do not need a divorce at the end of those relationships. The couples who do get married tend to do so at a later age, meaning divorce is often more complex since they have careers, investments, homes and other major assets — not to mention children who may even have been born prior to the marriage.
You can see how complex these eventual divorce cases may get, so be sure you take the time to carefully consider all of the options that you have as you split up.