As more and more couples focus more on their careers and education, and as the culture of America is changing, Americans are getting married at an older age. The median age of a first marriage, according to the U.S. Census Bureau , is 27 for women and 29 for men; it is the oldest age since the U.S. Census started keeping track in the 1890’s. Many people cite their careers, maturity, and financial stability as reasons to hold off on marriage until their mid-late 20’s and for good cause:
1.Studies have shown that women who wait until they are 30 to get married make much more money than those who do not, but that same fact is not true of men. People who marry early are often not yet set in their careers and marriage (a lot of the time) produces children, which further decreases the amount of money that a woman will eventually make in her lifetime.
2. Couples who marry before their late 20’s are three times more likely to divorce than their older counterparts: “According to the National Center for Health Statistics, if you wait until after the age of 25 to get married, your chances of staying married more than double! The old “50 percent of marriages end in divorce” statistic is cut in half if you just wait a little while longer to take the plunge.”
3. The culture of America is changing among younger people: “ young adults have increasingly come to see marriage as a ‘capstone’ rather than a ‘cornerstone’—that is, something they do after they have all their other ducks in a row, rather than a foundation for launching into adulthood and parenthood.” “Ninety-one percent of young adults believe that they must be completely financially independent to be ready for marriage, and over 90 percent of them believe they should finish their education before taking the big step.”
4. While we scientifically reach a level of maturity in our brains by age 21, the frontal lobe (the part that we rely on for decision-making, reason, and foresight) is not fully developed until ages 25-26 in most adults. While many people under the age of 25 are capable of making lifelong decisions, science has shown that until the brain is fully developed, a disparity in the decision-making skills of younger people versus those over 25 does exist.
5. The average age of a person going through a divorce is 30 years old. Studies have shown that getting divorced earlier in life has a greater negative impact than those who get divorced at a later age. According to a study by Michigan State sociologist Hui Liu: “those who split at a younger age tended to have more health issues than those who divorced later in life.”
6. Married couples who have reached a higher level of education are less likely to divorce than those who have not. Many people are waiting until after they graduate college or graduate school to get married and it actually helps their chances of staying together. Because more and more couples are waiting until they are set in their careers, money is less of a stressor, which could be a positive factor in lowering the divorce rate.
Statistics have shown that while some people who marry early stay together, the majority of marriages performed before age 25 end in divorce and by waiting until age 25, the chance of dissolution is divided in half. Delaying marriage could be advantageous to both you and your partner as a means to reduce the likelihood of divorce and the legal complications that folllow.
For more information on marriage and family law or marital issues, you can contact our office at 813-907-9807.