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Are divorce rates rising for older Minnesota couples?

Many Twin Cities residents have probably heard the oft-quoted statistic that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. But the divorce rate among older Americans has been rising rapidly, according to a new study by the Minnesota Population Center. The report states that the rate of divorce among couples aged 60 to 65 has been climbing steadily. At the same time the rate of divorce among younger couples in their twenties and thirties has dropped significantly. This does not necessarily mean relationships of younger couples are more stable; a large number of young people cohabit without marriage, and the study shows those relationships are less stable than marriage.

The report brings into question the recent assumption that the rate of marriage dissolution in the United States has been dropping. In fact, the rate may seem to be dipping among the younger couples, but it is rising fast among older couples, especially those into their second or third marriages. These days, when young couples in their twenties do choose marriage they are very selective in choosing their spouses, which may be responsible for their higher rate of marital stability.

Minnesota residents experience their fair number of divorces every year. If the marriage report is reliable, the divorce rate will probably not drop any time soon. If destined to become part of the divorce statistics, married Minnesotans should be aware of their respective legal rights and what they need to do to safeguard their own interests.

A divorce is a serious process involving issues such as spousal support, child custody, property division and similar matters. Legal assistance can help a Minnesota couple devise an amicable solution and successful conclusion, even amid the strong emotions divorce can evoke.

Source: Time, "Divorce Watch: Couples of All Ages Are Less Stable Than Ever," Belinda Luscombe, March 31, 2014.

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