Does When You Marry Affect Your Chances of Divorce?

marriageAccording to conventional wisdom, the odds that you and your spouse will divorce go down if you wait and marry at older ages.  But a new research report by a sociologist at the University of Utah paints a different picture.  The researcher, Nicholas Wolfinger, drew a graph of peoples’ age of marriage and divorce rates based on government statistics, with confidence intervals (shaded red), and found that your divorce risk is very high if you marry in your teens, and it does indeed go down, as expected, but only until you reach age 30.

In general, marrying between the ages of 25 and 30 subject you to the least risk of a subsequent divorce, and then the divorce rate goes back up again.  Past the age of 32, the odds of divorce increase by 5% per year of age at marriage.

Why would that be?  TCA - 2016-7-11 - Marriage Statisticshe author speculates that if you wait to marry until your 40s, the pool of possible mates is smaller, and those who remain in the dating pool may be less predisposed to succeed at matrimony.  People who wait until their 40s to get married may get so used to the freedom of single life that they make less-satisfying (and satisfied) spouses when they finally decide to give marriage a try.  Also, older people are more likely to have children from a previous relationship, which may complicate the current relationship to the breaking point.  But the study emphasizes that these are just statistical risks.  If you wait until your 40s to get married (or remarried), your relationship is not doomed.

These statistics seem to hold valid whether we’re talking about men or women, more or less educated, and whether or not the parents are still together or divorced.  However, there is one hopeful sign: the author notes that overall divorce rates have declined for the past 30 years, from a peak in the early 1980s.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/30/the-best-age-to-get-married-if-you-dont-want-to-get-divorced-2/?tid=sm_tw

http://family-studies.org/want-to-avoid-divorce-wait-to-get-married-but-not-too-long/

 

About Objectively Speaking

Tom Batterman, founder of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy and Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is in the business of representing the best financial interests of his clients. Having provided objective, fee-only financial management services for over two decades, he specializes in managing the investment and related financial affairs of individuals and mutual insurance companies who do not have the time, interest or expertise to manage such matters on their own. As an objective, unbiased professional who takes on a fiduciary responsibility to his clients, he guides clients to the financial decisions they would make themselves if they had years of training and experience and the time and expertise to fully research and understand all of their options. Founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy, Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is a financial management solution for individuals and mutual insurance companies who recognize they do not have the time, interest or expertise to properly attend to their financial matters on their own. While there are many financial “advisors”, most of them have investment products to sell and the “advice” they provide is geared toward getting their clients to engage in a purchase. As one of the rare subset of advisors known as “fiduciary advisors”, Financial Fiduciaries does not sell any investment product so its guidance is not compromised by conflicts of interest which plague ordinary advisors. Prior to his employment in the financial industry in financial advocacy and trust positions, he worked at a private law practice in the Wausau area in the areas of estate planning, tax, retirement planning, corporate organizations and real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW-Madison Law School and has during his career held Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses. A longtime resident of the Wausau, Wisconsin Area, Tom is active in the community. He enjoys golf, curling, skiing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
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