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Why Americans shouldn't worry about the divorce rate

Although most Illinois residents have probably heard that about 50 percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce, new statistics indicate this is no longer true. According to a New York Times blog, not only does the high amount of divorces that took place in the 1970s and 1980s seem to be an anomaly, but the divorce rate also seems to be declining.

Of all the marriages that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, only 65 percent made it to their 15th anniversary. However, of all the marriages that took place in the 1990s, 70 percent made it to their 15th anniversary. Although it is not yet possible to calculate how many couples married in the 2000s will reach their 15th anniversary, current statistics show that we might see an even higher success rate than in previous decades.

Many factors affect the longevity of a marriage, including the age at which people choose to tie the knot. In the 1950s, the median age for marriage was 20 for women and 23 for men. In 2004, the median age for 26 for women and 27 for men. Since couples are getting married later in life -- or choosing not to get married at all -- couples today are generally more mature and financially stable than their predecessors in the 1950s.

The feminist movement of the 1970s has also made a significant impact on the success of today's marriages. It gave women more ways to enter the workforce, propagated reproductive rights and transformed marriage into a union based on love, teamwork and, sometimes, two incomes.

Even though couples can expect a successful marriage now more than ever, some individuals will still find themselves seeking out a divorce. Divorces can be complicated, especially when couples disagree on terms, but legal representatives are available to help make the process go over as smoothly as possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Truth About The Divorce Rate Is Surprisingly Optimistic", Brittany Wong, December 02, 2014

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