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New Study: Breaking Up Is Hard To Count

A study from the Minnesota Population Center takes a hard look at the instability of relationships at younger ages.

Using data from the Minnesota Population Center, researchers reviewed demographic data on divorce and uncoupling in the last 20 years. For researchers, consumers and couples, understanding divorce trends is both personal and provocative. While everyone has reasons to divorce, looking at population sweeps gives insight into the movement of cultural norms over time.

In the study, the authors reviewed long-term studies to take a fresh look at the idea that divorce rates are declining. Results include:

  • While the divorce rate of couples over age 35 continues to increase, divorce rates of younger couples appeared to decline in recent years. Instead, this study found, except for a small drop in divorce during the Great Recession, the divorce rate at all ages continues to climb.
  • The study notes fewer women under age 25 are choosing marriage.
  • Younger adults are more often choosing to cohabit instead of marry. When cohabiting relationships end, those individuals are likely to choose to move in with their next partner, not marry them.
  • This cycling of a large portion of younger adults through relationships occurs outside of marriage. In 2008, approximately 40 percent of the population had not married by the time they turned 35 years of age.

In Minnesota, cohabitation agreements can protect your property, finances, and spell out child support and custody arrangements. When you have questions about moving in — or moving on — speak with an experienced family law attorney in St. Paul.

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