Half of all marriages still end in divorce, statistics say

Many Texas couples may have heard the adage that half of all marriages end in divorce, and this remains true today even though divorce rates on the whole are down. However, the 55-and-over generation is ensuring that the 50 percent figure does not drop.

People between the ages of 55 and 64 divorced more than twice as frequently as the same age group did in 1990. For those at or over the age of 65, the 2012 divorce rate was triple the 1990 rate. State laws, women’s financial independence and longer life spans are all cited as reasons for the higher rates.

Whether the millennials will change that trend is not yet known. The age of women at their first marriage was 20 from the 1940s to the 1970s but has now risen to above 27. Some millennials forego marriage altogether in favor of cohabitation. Fewer remarriages mean fewer divorces since second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first ones. However, the median length of time for a first marriage that ends in divorce is 12 years. This means that there may be several years to go before there is evidence that millennial marriages are more stable than those of the older generation.

Younger people who do divorce must often deal with issues around child custody and support. Older adults may no longer have children living at home, but they might have complex finances that must be disentangled. Whether a marriage has lasted just a few years or decades, people who are facing the end of a marriage might want to begin by consulting an attorney to discuss how finances and custody might be handled. Bringing as much information as possible about income, debt and assets may help the attorney give more accurate information about how the divorce process might unfold.