One of the most common things that people say about divorce is that one out of every two marriages will end in divorce. Half of the couples who tie the knot will eventually split up, though it takes different amounts of time for this to happen.
Is this common statistic accurate, or is it just something that people have repeated for so long that they believe it?
The statistics about divorce defy easy analysis
The trouble is that divorce statistics are far more complex. To start with the most basic part of the question, though, the divorce rate overall tends to be lower than 50%. It’s closer to 41%, according to some reports.
But even factoring it out gets complicated. There’s no point in comparing the number of marriages with the number of divorces in a given year, for instance, since different people are getting married and divorced. They’re unrelated.
To actually see the divorce rate, you have to look at long-term patterns for each marriage. You can set a limit of 15 years, for example, and then find that about two out of every three marriages make it to 15 years.
But even that is limited because you can’t count couples who haven’t been married for 15 years. You also miss out on the fact that couples may get divorced after 15 years — divorce in the elderly population, known as gray divorce, is actually on the rise.
Do the divorce statistics even matter?
The key is not to get too hung up on the statistics. Your relationship is your own. If you decide to get divorced, you need to know exactly what legal steps to take to protect your future, your finances and your personal relationships.