Millennials have been accused of killing many things: beer, paper towels, bars of soap, and even popular restaurant chains like Applebee’s. A new study finds that Millenials may also be responsible for the decline of something else – divorce. According to the report, the divorce rate dropped 18 percent between 2008 and 2016. That’s thanks in large part to young people staying in their marriages.
Young People Are Getting Married Later in Life
One reason that divorces have declined in the United States is because young people waiting until they’ve matured to get married. This is particularly true for women. In the 1950s, the average age of a bride was 20. By 1990, women were 24 when they first got married. Today, women tend to get married when they are 27.4 years old. In contrast, men today are 29.5 years old on the day of their first wedding. Back in the 1950s, men tended to get married when they were slighter older than 24.
How does this relate to the divorce rate in the United States? Well, a lot can happen in a person’s life in a span of a few years. The 20s are a time for growth, maturity, and individual exploration. Years ago, young people got married early and grew while they were together with their spouse. However, not all spouses grew together. People learned about themselves and what they wanted out of life. In many cases, it wasn’t what their spouse wanted. The result? Divorce.
By the time you’re in your late 20s you probably have a better grasp on your identity than you did in your early 20s. You’ve probably had the chance to go to school and get an education, party, dabble in different interests, and/or grow into a career. You’ve likely identified a path you’d like to take in life and have taken steps to make it happen. When you finally settle down, you’re more likely to choose a partner who has similar ambitions, or who is at least supportive of yours.
Fewer Couples Are Getting Married
There is one prerequisite for divorce…marriage. Studies have also found that there has been a decline in marriage over the past few decades. With fewer people tying the knot, it makes sense that divorces are happening less frequently. Young people seem to be less caught up in the idea of marriage and more interested in personal careers, education, and individual pursuits. Young people aren’t rushing into love or putting as much stock into marriage as their parents once did at a young age.
Casual relationships are much more common today, as well. There doesn’t seem to be as much of a rush to walk down the aisle and make a relationship official. When couples do decide to get married, financial and tax benefits are often primary motivators. There are clear benefits to marriage. Spouses can enjoy health benefits, retirement benefits, joint ownership of property, and even take advantage of great tax incentives.
Protection for Cohabitating Partners
Just because young people aren’t getting married as frequently as their parents doesn’t mean that romantic relationships don’t exist. An increasing number of couples live together without tying the knot. These couples are not protected by laws and regulations extended to married couples. It’s important for these young people to take certain precautions to protect themselves in the event of a breakup.
Drafting a cohabitation agreement is a great first step. This is basically a private contract between both partners that touches on many issues that can affect a relationship. Partners can address property concerns, including who gets what if they ever split up. This is a great device that can minimize stress and disputes when a longterm relationship ends.
Are you living with a romantic partner? Are you thinking about getting married? Contact our Los Angeles family law attorneys to learn about your legal rights and options. We offer a free consultation, so call today to speak with our skilled legal team.