Conventional wisdom has long held that 50% of marriages today end in divorce. However, recent statistics prove that idea wrong. Overall, divorce rates are plummeting — the rate dipped 18% from 2008 to 2016, according to one study. Upon closer examination of the facts, however, it is apparent that this decrease only holds true for certain demographics. Experts have theories as to what is causing these trends, and Georgia families may learn a great deal from their insight.

First, the falling divorce rate seems to be due to younger adults. The biggest reason is because marriage rates are going down at the same time. Many young adults are delaying marriage or not getting married at all. The average age of first marriage has gone up to 27.8 for women and 29.8 for men in 2018, from 22 and 26.1 respectively in 1890. Experts say that many of these young people want to solidify their education, career and finances before settling down.

At the same time, the divorce rate is going up for older people. For people older than 50, the divorce rate was 10% back in 1990, but in just 20 years, it shot up to 25%. The phenomena, known as “gray divorce,” may happen once a couple has raised their children or provided care for parents or relatives and the couple reevaluates their marriage. Researchers say this also may be due to the fact that women have more means to care for themselves financially than they have in the past. If they are unhappy with their relationship, so the experts say, they do not have to fear financial loss that divorce sometimes brings.

No matter the reason for a divorce, it is something that can happen to anyone. People here in Georgia should not feel embarrassed if they decide to end their marriage, as more people than ever are supportive of the idea of divorce. Anyone who is considering getting a divorce can benefit from legal counsel from an experienced divorce attorney. It can be the first step toward a new future.