Atlanta, GA- After hitting a peak in the 80s, the divorce rates among Americans appeared to be stabilizing. But researchers in Minnesota suggest that marriage rates haven’t stabilized at all and have increased dramatically among older Americans while younger people just don’t bother to get married.
Years of data had us believing that one in two marriages end in divorce. Though that is not a promising statistic by any means, a new study by the University of Minnesota suggests we have been looking at the wrong data, and divorce happens at a greater rate than initially believed, especially among baby boomers.
In fact, the older generation is responsible from greater marriage instability since the 70s and the study suggests they are still divorcing at a higher rate.
Steve Ruggles, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota and the director of the Minnesota Population Center, was the lead researcher for the study and spoke to Time about the findings.
“There has been a threefold increase in the divorce rate of people aged between 60 and 65 since 1990,” Ruggles told Time. He added, “And for those older than 65, the increase is fivefold.”
Ruggles believes the high boomer divorce rate can be attributed to the many cultural changes that arose out of the 70s. The taboos against divorce began to lift, and people were no longer required to stay in unhappy marriages out of social pressure or duty. The institution of marriage was no longer seen as something someone had to do, but something a person can choose to do.
Another reason the divorce rate among baby boomers is so high is due to the fact that many are in their second or third marriages which fail at a high rate than first marriages.
As divorce rates among baby boomers have been steadily increasing, the divorce rate for younger couples has been slowly declining. But that isn’t necessarily because younger people have stronger marriages; it’s because they are more selective about who they marry, and choose to live together before taking the plunge.
Ruggles said younger generations are more likely to view living together as chance to see if a relationship can become lifelong. It’s much easier to dissolve a relationship if you’re not married so younger Americans delay marriage until they are certain they are with the right partner. Younger people have better educations and are more financially stable so they are able be more careful about their choices of a life partner.
When a person marries they would like to think they have chosen the right partner, there is still no guarantee that love will last forever. Marriages end regardless of how carefully we chose our partners or how much we care about our partners and when it’s time to unravel those marital bonds it’s best to have legal help.
Divorce can be complicated especially when children are involved, and couples truly benefit from seeking out a divorce attorney to help them dissolve their marriages and assure their interests are protected in the process.