Recent studies have found that the divorce rate in this country is falling. This comes after many fears in previous decades about soaring divorce rates, especially as they relate to no-fault divorce. But couples are now splitting up less often. Why is this happening?
It’s natural to assume that it means we just have more happily married couples today. In reality, though, there’s one other major factor that has impacted the rate.
Couples often simply cohabitate before marriage
The true difference is that couples get married when they’re older and cohabitate long before officially getting married. Breaking up with someone with whom you have cohabitated does not count toward divorce statistics.
In the past, living together was largely frowned upon for unmarried couples. Therefore, relatively young couples who wanted to live together — in their early 20s and even their teens — felt that they had to get married. When they broke up, that also meant they had to get divorced.
These days, couples don’t feel that same pressure. They move in together. Some of them still break up, but they don’t have to do anything official. Those who make their cohabitation period work then get married at a later age, and they are less likely to get divorced.
Relationship problems have largely stayed the same
Overall, the way that people approach relationships has not changed. What has changed is the legal process. Those who are getting divorced have to know what legal options they have, and even those who live together may have questions regarding children, assets and much more. It’s important to look into these carefully when your relationship with your spouse or long-term partner comes to an end. An attorney can help you learn more.