The state of marriage and divorce has changed significantly since the 1950s. Back then, college wasn’t really an option for most, so instead of furthering their education, people tended to marry at a young age – not long after graduating from high school. In fact, women were typically around 20 years old, while men were slightly older, at 23 years old.
Nowadays, many of us aren’t thinking about marriage after high school. Most of us attend college, graduate, and become established in a career before saying “I do.” More and more people are waiting to get married. In 2004, the median age of marriage rose to 26 for women and 27 for men.
Many people are avoiding marriage altogether due to high divorce rates. While it remains steady at 50%, divorce is a scary option to many people. A divorce can change a person’s life emotionally and financially for a long time. Because of this, many couples opt to live together as a couple without a marriage certificate.
No marriage is safe anymore. Even couples who have been married for decades are experiencing divorces at high rates. While men were the ones to initiate divorce in the past, women are now filing for divorce in approximately 66% of cases. In the United States, there are now two divorces every minute.
What is causing couples to file divorce papers? Infidelity, according to a a study published in the Journal of Family Issues. Cheating on a partner led to 22% of divorces, while incompatibility led to 19% of divorces. Substance abuse caused more than 10% of marriages to fail.
When you can’t handle your marriage any longer, it’s time to choose a divorce lawyer. You can find a divorce lawyer by searching online or asking friends and family for recommendations. When doing research, ask about cost. A divorce can cost $15,000 to $30,000, with most of that money going toward legal fees. A low cost divorce may be an option, especially if you have no kids and very few assets.
When you find a divorce lawyer, you can proceed with filing the divorce papers. While you may be able to do this yourself, it can be complicated. A lawyer can review and file the forms for you. Your spouse will then be served with the divorce papers.
If your spouse contests the divorce, then you may have to go to court to discuss the outcome. However, most divorces are actually settled outside of court to avoid even more fees. There are many things to discuss, including dividing the assets, alimony and child custody and support, if there are children involved.
If you need divorce help, you may want to consider counseling first. If your reason for divorce is infidelity, couples therapy can help, since half of all cases involve infidelity. Counseling can help with other issues as well. Divorce is a life-changing experience, so do all you can to save your marriage before considering ending it.