Chicago, IL- Marriage is generally viewed as a pivotal step in a person’s life, but maybe not so much for millennials. As the social tides have shifted and financial matters dominate, younger Americans are choosing to delay marriage. And some aren’t marrying at all.

A study from the Pew Research Center from last year found that Millennials, a large proportion of who are products of divorce or blended families, are delaying marriage longer than previous generations. And the rates of men and women who have never been married have reached historic highs.

While many Millennials are shrugging off marriage, they aren’t refusing it entirely, but some are waiting longer to tie the knot. According to Pew, in 2012, the average age women first married was 27 and 29 for men, but in the 60s women married at an average age of 20 and men married at age 23. So, many young people are delaying marriage for several years, but why?

Pew attributed the change to socio-economic factors. Many young people are focusing on their education, getting their career established and becoming financially stable before they marry. They found women do place a high premium on finding a steady job and a spouse, but they are having trouble finding mates. The pool of younger men in the workforce shrinking, for 100 women in the 25 to 34 age group who have never been married, there are only 91 men who hold a steady job. That leaves 9 percent of young women without suitable partners in the workforce.

Education also a plays a big role in men and women both view marriage. Millennial women have a higher level of education than previous generations. In 2015, one-third of women aged 25 and older, who have never been married, have at least a bachelor’s degree and many have an advanced degree while only one-quarter of never-married men have a higher education, according to Pew. When both spouses have a higher education, they are more likely to have a long-lasting marriage.

Divorce among lower income couples with little college education is significantly higher than couples with some college or a degree.

Since lack of experience and financial instability can lead to divorce, this data points millennials making smart decisions about marriage which in turn could lead to lower divorce rates down the road.

Of the millennial who had been previously married and divorced fewer have the desire to re-marry. The emotional turmoil and back and forth sessions with divorce attorneys. The battles over assets, property and child custody can turn one off to idea of marriage.

Marriage rates may decline, but that doesn’t mean long-term relationships or committed couples are part of the past. Even though more Americans choosing to cohabit, buy house and have children together outside marriage, they will still need legal help when their relationships break down. Couples can turn to a divorce lawyer or child custody attorney in Illinois to help them unravel their ties even though if they weren’t formally married. USAttorneys can connect an estranged couple with a lawyer near for their advice and guidance.