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The myth of the 50 percent divorce rate may be up for debate

Californians may have heard of the oft-cited statistic that half of all marriages these days will end in divorce. However, there has been much discussion as to whether this statement is accurate. For example, according to the American Psychological Association, the divorce rate in our nation is somewhere between 40 percent and 50 percent. That being said, these numbers are up for debate, and, in fact may differ among various demographics.

"Millennials" who often live with their partner before getting married are less apt to divorce than couples from other generations. For example, according to one report, the divorce rate for couples between ages 55 to 64 increased by more than 50 percent between 1990 to 2012. Moreover, during that time frame, the divorce rate for those age 65 and older increased threefold.

However, divorce itself need not be seen as a bad thing. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, people married younger, and marriage itself meant one had reached adulthood. However, these days, other markers of adulthood, such as being about to independently sustain oneself financially, are seen as more important than marriage. The rise of no-fault divorce also meant that people did not have to stay in unhappy marriages. When people do not feel like marriage is mandatory, not only does the marriage rate go down, but in fact the divorce rate goes down as well.

In the end, people in California should keep in mind that they need not stay in an unhappy marriage. Sometimes ,getting a divorce is the most sensible solution to a marriage that simply cannot be saved. That being said, there are many divorce issues that must be sorted through once a couple decides to end their marriage, such as property division, spousal support, child custody and child support. Therefore, those thinking of getting divorced may want to obtain legal counsel before moving forward, to ensure their rights are protected.

Source: nymag.com, "Let's Stop Treating the Divorce Rate Like the Crime Rate," Drake Baer, Feb. 17, 2017

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