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Why did the divorce rate hit a historic low? 

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2023 | Divorce |

Statistics from recent years have shown that the divorce rate in the United States continues to trend downward. In the 1970s, states began to implement no-fault divorce laws, and there was a quick rise in divorce cases over the next decade. But, there’s been a general downward trend since then, and reports show that 2021 had the lowest divorce rate in the last 40 years. It is even lower than the rate was back in 1970 when the increase was beginning.

Why is this? People make a lot of assumptions, but do we really know why the divorce rate has dropped to this level? Let’s look at a few potential reasons.

Later marriages

One thing to consider is that young marriages have a greater chance of ending in divorce. But the average age at which someone gets married for the first time has continued to go up. In other words, young marriages involving those in their teens or early 20s are fairly uncommon, whereas they were the norm at different times in history. Since people are now waiting longer to get married, you have far fewer marriages ending during those early years. Someone might skip the volatile 20s entirely and not get married until they’re in their 30s.

Cohabitation increases

Another part of the equation is that some of these couples cohabitate before getting married. Older generations may have found this to be socially taboo, but things have shifted and younger couples do not have the same societal pressures. This allows them to avoid both marriage and divorce.

That being said, the rates still show that 14 out of every 1,000 individuals will get divorced, and those who do need to know about their legal options.