1. ‘Marriage is going out of fashion.’
The percentage of American adults who’ve never been married has reached a record high, according to the Pew Research Center.
In 2012, about 20% of adults age 25 and older (or 42 million people) had never been married, compared with about 10% of adults that age in 1960.
The median age for getting married is now 27 for women and 29 for men, up from 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960.
There is one group for whom marriage is on the rise: Same-sex couples. The number of married same-sex couples has increased more than 50% over the past three years, to about 130,000 in 2013, according to the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.
2. ‘Rise in Prenuptial Agreements.’
In a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, some 63% of attorneys said they’ve seen an increase in the number of clients seeking prenuptial agreements. Because people are marrying later, they’ve often accumulated significant assets or debt by the time they wed, making a prenup more desirable.
3. ‘Our wedding may break the bank for us…’
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. rose to $29,858 in 2014, according to a survey of nearly 20,000 brides by wedding website TheKnot.com. That’s the highest level ever, up 11% from 2011. The figure includes averages of nearly $13,000 on a venue (including food), over $5,500 on an engagement ring and $2,400 on a photographer—and excludes the cost of a honeymoon.
4. ‘The bigger the wedding, the shorter the marriage.’
The more spent on a wedding, the shorter the marriage, according to a recently released study by economics professors at Emory University. Surveying 3,000 couples, the report concluded that those who spent $20,000 or more on their wedding were 46% more likely than average to get divorced; those who spent between $1,000 and $5,000, in contrast, were 18% less likely than average to split.
5. ‘We’ve got infidelity on the brain.’
In a 2012 survey by NORC, a research organization affiliated with the University of Chicago, some 12.3% of married women and 19% of married men admitted to extramarital affairs (defined as sex outside of marriage).
Many Americans appear to be “monogomish”—they would cheat if they knew they could get away with it. In a survey this year by the USA Network, 82% of respondents professed “zero tolerance” for cheating, but 81% said they would cheat if there were no consequences.
6. ‘Social media is breaking us apart…’
Some 86% of respondents in the USA Network survey said social networking makes it easier to cheat, and almost one-third admitted to having had an emotional or romantic relationship exclusively online.
Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach (Fla.), recommends that couples set time limits and boundaries on social-media usage. “It’s easy to look up other people when things are bad,” she says.
7. ‘…but money could keep us together.’
The higher your income, the more likely you are to stay together, according to the Emory study and data analyzed by Randal Olson, a graduate research assistant at Michigan State University. Couples in households making more than $125,000 a year are 51% less likely to split than those earning less than $25,000 annually, and prospects for marital success worsen as income falls.
Earnings correlate strongly to education, and better-educated people seem more likely to stay married. Among people with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 26.5% have divorced by middle age, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The comparable rate for people with only a high-school diploma is 42.8%.
8. ‘You’re never too old to get divorced.’
The national divorce and annulment rate fell to 3.6 per 1,000 people in 2011, from 4 per 1,000 in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But multiple studies have noted a sharp increase in divorces among boomers.
Adults aged over 50 accounted for more than 25% of divorces in 2010, up from less than 10% in 1990, according to a study by Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin at Bowling Green State University.
9. ‘Splitting up was her idea.’
Two-thirds of divorces are initiated by women, according to the National Marriage Project, an initiative based at the University of Virginia. Among the reasons: State divorce laws tend to favor women with regard to child custody.
A less generous explanation: Divorced women are more likely to have unfaithful husbands, says Jeff Landers, a New York City-based attorney with an exclusively female clientele.
10. ‘If marriage were a stock, Wall Street would short it.’
No matter what your situation, the LGBT attorney-mediators at Family Law Center can assist you with your family law matter.