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U.S. marriage and divorce trends mirror the world

You may have heard some of the more common trends in relationships in the United States. For instance, unmarried couples are more likely than ever before to live together and even to have children together. Similarly, the age of marriage is increasing, partly because people simply live together prior to getting married; they may move in together at 23, but they're not getting married until closer to 30, whereas their parents would have gotten married at 23. Finally, marriage is generally less common as a whole, and divorce rates are increasing.

Lest you think this is just an American phenomenon, let's take a look at some key facts about marriage and divorce all over the world. While researchers do warn that global statistics do not apply to all countries equally, major trends they have found include:

  • People are waiting longer to tie the knot, often until their late 20s or early 30s
  • Cohabitation is on the rise and the stigma that once went with it has faded
  • The number of single parents keeps going up
  • Same-sex marriage is growing more common, and same-sex divorce goes along with that
  • The percentage of the population who have decided to get married at all has fallen
  • The divorce rate has been trending upward in many countries
  • Older couples tend to get divorced more often than younger couples
  • Couples in wealthy countries tend to stay married a bit longer, and that hasn't really changed over the years

As you can see, much of what is happening in the United States is happening everywhere. As these trends continue, those considering a divorce need to know their legal options. The world isn't the same as it once was, so don't assume that you know what to expect if your marriage is ending until you've spoken with an experienced advocate.

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