While many in Massachusetts know that many marriages end in divorce, they may not realize that the divorce rate for most Americans is actually falling. In the decade between 2008 and 2018, the divorce rate declined by 18%. The decline in the rate came even as a larger number of people see divorce as socially acceptable or a positive choice when couples do not enjoy a positive relationship. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 4.7 of every 1,000 Americans were divorced in 1990, a number that fell to 2.9 by 2016.

There are a number of reasons for the declining popularity of divorce. The divorce rate has gone down particularly among younger adults under the age of 45. A growing number of young people wait until later in life to marry, after they have already established their careers and other aspects of their lives. They take a longer time to select their partners and often choose people with similar approaches to work, education and finances, all factors that point to increased marital longevity.

On the other hand, older Americans are more likely to divorce than they were in the past. Called “gray divorce,” a growing number of people are choosing to separate at the age of 50 or higher. This can also be linked to social changes; more women are economically independent, and older women may be at a high point in their careers. They are more likely than women in the past, who may have been primarily homemakers, to seek a divorce.

While overall divorce rates are going down, ending a marriage may be the right choice for people in a relationship that is not working. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, family law attorneys might be able to help a divorcing spouse to reach a fair settlement on a range of issues, including property division and spousal support.