Divorces Are Down in Michigan! But What Does That Say About Marriage?

A man and a woman standing side by side by apart, holding hands but facing away from each other.
Yay! Divorce rates are on a downward trend in Michigan! But then again, so are marriages. So what’s really going on here…?

As we pointed out in a recent article about the difference between the traditional view of marriage and the more modern perspective, the way people see marriage is changing. So it probably comes as something of a surprise to you to know that divorce rates are actually down in Michigan right now, according to an article in the Lansing State Journal. But then again, so are marriages. But what does that mean, exactly?

Well, the stats don’t lie… about divorce or marriage!

The LSJ shared statistics they got from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, which revealed that fewer people were getting married these days in Michigan. Marriages saw a slight decline in Eaton County (3.9%) and a significant decline in Ingham County  (17%), and interestingly, a small increase in Clinton County (2.3%). So is the decrease in divorces simply the direct result of fewer people tying the knot? It would seem so… 

You can’t get divorced if there wasn’t a marriage to start with…

Philip Cohen, a researcher and sociology professor at the University of Maryland studying marriage and divorce trends across the US, spoke to the LSJ about the decline in both marriages and divorces here in Michigan. He points out that while divorce rates are falling, this doesn’t necessarily reflect a rise in the return to traditional viewpoints on the sanctity of marriage. Rather, he says, it’s directly tied to the fact that people are getting married later in life, if at all.

Apparently women play a large role in these changing dynamics…

Where before, women were getting married earlier in life and often not pursuing higher education in favor of raising children, today’s young woman is a different kind of person altogether. In fact, the entire decline in divorce rates, according to Cohen’s research, was driven specifically by women under the age of 45. These days women are waiting longer to get married, usually in favor of pursuing their goals, like higher education. Cohen says he believes that people have seen so much divorce, they want to get it right, so they wait longer to make sure that they’ve found the right person and they’re certain about marriage. 

Millennials are choosing other paths in life…

According to research done by the Urban Institute, the standard age for marriage in the 1960s was 20 for women and 23 for men. Now, almost 60 years later, those age brackets have increased to 27 for women and 29 for men. In addition, more people are choosing to simply avoid marriage altogether in favor of being single, or living together without the long term commitment. However, surveys show that while many Millenials are choosing to postpone, and sometimes completely forgo marriage, it still remains a social ideal for as many as 70% of them.

Divorce, when it happens, can be a very messy process…

As divorce attorneys, we’ve noticed that while there may be fewer divorces happening in Michigan, the ones that walk through our doors are no less complex, or contentious these days. Figuring out how to divide up assets and debts, what kind of alimony and child support payments are best for everyone, and how custody should be handled can all be very challenging. That’s why you need a highly skilled and experienced divorce attorney to help you through the process, from start to finish. So if you’re unhappy in your marriage and want to move on, call 866 766 5245 and let us help you prepare for a better future.