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Is drop in divorce rate on the horizon?

For some, it may seem as though every time they pick up a newspaper, go online or turn on the television, there is a report about the number of marriages that end in divorce. According to numbers from the Census Bureau, in 1995, the number of individuals that lived with their spouse was 57.3 percent. Ten years later, it was down to 54.7. Last year, that number had dropped even lower, to 51.4 percent.

While these numbers would seem to indicate that divorces are on the rise, a researcher with the University of Pennsylvania for Biomedical Informatics indicated that divorce rates have gone up only marginally over the course of the last few years. The fact that fewer couples are marrying may be contributing to this.

In 2000, 27 percent of the population reported never having married. Last year that number had risen to 28.2. Where one resides could have an impact on this. For example, couples that live along the Mississippi River or in the Southwest portion of the nation are less likely to be married as compared to those who live in the Great Plains.

Of course this does not mean that people are avoiding involvement in relationships entirely. Instead, the number of couples choosing to live together has increased dramatically. The 8.3 million doing so without being married last year, is more than twice what it was in 2000.

Whether this trend will result in fewer divorces, remains to be seen. In any event, anyone who is involved in a marriage should protect his or her future by working with a divorce lawyer.

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