You’ve probably heard people say that the divorce rate is 50%, that half of all marriages end in divorce or some other variation on this common theme. Many people generally assume that half of all married couples will eventually split up and they figure that those are the odds they face when they get married. It’s essentially a coin flip.
But is this actually true? Or is this just one of those statistics that has been repeated so many times that people believe it’s true even when it’s not?
Divorce rates are changing – and falling
It can be difficult to find an exact divorce rate in the United States, but there have been shifts over the years. For most age groups, the divorce rate has been consistently falling. The 50% number was studied and predicted shortly after no-fault divorce laws were introduced, so divorce spiked for a while, but it has been dropping since then. And, even then, the highest the rate actually got was just 41%.
There is one age group that has seen an increase in divorce rates recently, and that is the age group of individuals who are 50 years old and older. Part of the reason for this is simply that second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages, and many of the people who are getting divorced once they are over 50 are already on to a second marriage.
Are you getting divorced?
Regardless of the exact percentage, it’s clear that divorce is fairly common and it’s important for everyone to know about the legal options they have if they find themselves in this position. You need to consider property division, child custody rights and much more.