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The divorce rate has declined over the past two decades

Anyone can rattle off the "50 percent of all marriages end in divorce" statistic. But this commonly cited "fact" ignores many of the intricacies captured within marriage and divorce. A study by the Pew Research Center has found that, while the overall divorce rate is significantly higher than a century ago, it has been on a steady decline over the past 20 years. Specifically, the researchers found that the current rate of divorce, as of 2010, is 3.5 divorces per 1,000 people. This is down from four divorces in 2000.

Not all marriages are treated equally. The study found that age and education levels both affect how long a couple stays together. For example, college-educated couples that marry older tend to stay together longer whereas couples that marry young with a high school education or less tend to divorce at higher rates.

The study analyzed the lifetime risk of divorce. It noted that the longer a couple is together, the higher likelihood that they will get divorced. For example, 89 percent of marriages that are less than five years old are still together. Conversely, only 65 percent of 15-year old marriages are still together. Longer relationships do not have a greater risk of divorce. In fact, the study finds the opposite; the study notes that these relationships are exposed to the risk of divorce for a longer period of time than shorter duration marriages.

If you are going through a divorce, you may want to consult with a family law attorney at your earliest convenience. Divorces are complicated and emotional endeavors. They often take months, or sometimes years, to fully resolve. An attorney can offer advice and guidance and can act on your behalf to protect your personal interests through this challenging period of your life.

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