People in New York may be surprised that despite popular opinion, divorce rates have been declining for some time. It is no longer true that half of all marriages end in divorce. Instead, the numbers are actually much lower.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, divorce rates were quite high. Those rates appear to be an anomaly, however, and they have been demonstrating steady declines ever since. For example, 70 percent of marriages that started in the 1990s reached their 15th year. The divorce rates for those who were married in the 2000s were even lower than the rates from the 1990s marriages.

The divorce rate declines are attributed to several influencing factors. There is a strong inverse correlation between the lower rates and the age at which people get married. People are marrying later, which translates into greater levels of maturity and thus a probability of better dealing with the stress that married life can often bring. Additionally, the feminist movement helped equalize the gender power structure within marriages. Women have more of a say, household duties are more equally divided and both spouses may contribute their incomes to the marriage.

While the declining divorce rate is great news, some marriages will of course end in divorce. When a person’s marriage is irretrievably broken, he or she will need to be able to determine a fair property division as well as to disentangle his or her finances from those of his or her spouse. Divorces may involve other considerations as well, including child or spousal support needs and determinations of child custody. Those who wish to divorce may benefit by seeking the help of a family law attorney to negotiate a settlement on their behalf.

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