Data from the American Psychological Association shows that up to 50 percent of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. The likelihood of divorce also increases significantly for those in second or third marriages. People are always wondering, “can I divorce-proof my marriage?” When most couples get married, they imagine a wonderful romance, and likely do not plan to get divorced. With the addition of complicated schedules, bills, jobs, children, and messy houses, however, marriage can easily and quickly turn from romantic to mundane. Many divorces happen for the right reasons when a couple hits an impasse and is unable to remain together. In those cases, it is healthy and necessary to separate. Are there ways, however, to “divorce proof” your marriage, or at least help your marriage endure? A contributor to the Boston Globe recently surveyed many successfully married couples, and while there may be no way to truly divorce-proof your marriage, here are some insightful tips that may help you and your spouse strengthen your relationship and decrease your chances of divorce.
The soaring popularity of social media has changed the way people connect to each other, the way they interact, and even the way they break up. Pew Research reports that as of January 2014, 74 percent of adults use social media with Facebook being the most frequented site. Matters are not kept as private as before the digital age and insight into a person’s relationship can easily be revealed online. There are people who mistakenly believe group forums or online chat are private or anonymous and may say things that can be used against them later in court during divorce proceedings.
In Western society, the concept of arranged marriage may be an unfamiliar, seemingly outdated idea. Most Americans would bristle at the thought of their parents trying to set them up with a partner with whom they are expected to spend the rest of their lives. In other cultures, however, arranged marriages are a social norm and, in fact, a rather stable institution. When compared to non-arranged or “love” marriages, the divorce rate worldwide for arranged marriages is significantly lower. However, cultural differences regarding the acceptance of divorce in general may contribute to such a disproportionate comparison.
According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 42 million American adults have been married more than once. The current estimate has almost doubled from what it was in 1980, when 22 million reported having been remarried, and has tripled the 14 million figure from 1960. The increase in divorce throughout the United States over the last several decades has certainly been a factor, along with an upward shift in the average age of the population, both of which contribute to more individuals able to and interested in getting remarried.
No matter how much research is published, it is rather unlikely that a couple preparing for marriage will cancel their plans based on a compilation of marriage and divorce statistics. Researchers, however, are able to take larger numbers of marriages and analyze some of the demographic and social factors involved attempting to determine if trends or relationships exist between those factors and the success level of the marriage.
The average age at which Americans marry for the first time continues to rise to record levels. This, combined with the increasing number of second and third marriages, means that couples are bringing more of their individual lives with them when they marry. Each spouse, on average, has had more time to pursue business interests and accumulate wealth, for example, than they may have had a generation or two ago. As such, prenuptial agreements are also becoming increasingly common, as individuals seek to protect specific assets or interests in the event the marriage fails.
In the world of celebrities and millionaires, in which whirlwind romances (and splits) are par for the course, prenuptial agreements find themselves at the center of focus for many couples. These contracts help decide who gets what, and when they may receive it after a divorce.