The divorce rate is dropping. In just 2019, a report came out saying that it had recently hit a 40-year low. Clearly, despite all the concerns people voiced in previous generations about the rising divorce rates, the trend has been in the opposite direction.
But why is this? You may think that couples have it figured out and they’re happier than ever. While that might be true for many, that is not the reason for the drop in the divorce rate.
The marriage rate is lower and people wait longer to commit
In truth, the divorce rate has dropped right along with the marriage rate. You simply do not have young couples who are as interested in getting married, meaning they have no reason to get divorced.
What happens is that many couples who don’t want to commit to marriage just decide to live together first. They can definitely still break up after months or years, and after having children together, if it doesn’t work out. In previous generations, they would have been married and needed a divorce. Today, they don’t actually need a divorce at all, though they may still have to talk about dividing custody and assets.
Along with this, people are waiting longer to get married. Many are in their late 20s and early 30s. You have far fewer marriages at 18 years of age or even among couples in their early 20s — and younger married couples have traditionally had higher divorce rates.
If your relationship ends, take action
As noted, you may have many divorce-related questions even if you’re not married. No matter your status when you split up, make sure you know what rights you have and what steps to take.