Are millennials paving the way for lower divorce rates in the U.S.? According to a recent article in Slate, millennials who get married tend to be less likely to get divorced than the general population. At the same time, however, it looks as though millennials are getting married at much lower rates than the general population, too. A new study conducted at the University of Maryland suggests that today’s marriages are more stable, but socioeconomic factors also play an important role, and lower-income families may have more difficulty staying together in the long run.
Millennial Divorce Rates are Lower Than Other Generations
Between the years 2008 and 2016, data shows that the divorce rate in the U.S. declined by about 18%. This was the basis of the recent study that suggests millennials have lower divorce rates than members of other generations. Phillip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, conducted the recent analysis. According to Cohen’s research, which controlled for age and other demographics, there was still an 8% decline in the divorce rate, which suggests a much greater stability in marriages today. Cohen attributes that increased stability to marriages among millennials.
As Cohen explains, part of the reason that millennial marriages are stronger and more stable is that people are being more selective and enter into marriage later in life, when they are more financially independent. In other words, millennials are not as eager to get married as members of older generations. Many are waiting until they are financially secure enough on their own regardless of a spouse’s income, as well as emotionally secure in themselves, to make the decision to get married. Such changes also mean that millennials tend to be less likely to enter a marriage for the wrong reasons.
Cohen suggests that the trends in marriage rates and marriage lengths among millennials likely means that we will see a future with fewer people entering in into marriage, but with those unions being more stable in the long run.
Burdens of Socioeconomic Disparity in Marriage Rates
Despite the fact that it seems good to wait to get married until you are sure that the marriage has lasting qualities, there are also socioeconomic reasons that marriage rates have declined in recent years, and are likely to continue declining. According to Cohen, more people are waiting to get married until they are financially stable, and many of those people simply will not become independently financially stable in the near future given that it is harder to find well-paying jobs without a college degree.
As such, Cohen intimates, “marriage is increasingly becoming a status achievement rather than something that everyone is doing.”
Seek Advice from a Bloomfield Hills Family Lawyer
Legal issues surrounding marriage and divorce can be extremely complicated. If you have questions, you should speak with a Bloomfield Hills family law attorney about your situation. Contact the office of Paul J. Tafelski today for more information about how we can assist you.