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Decline in divorce rate should not be viewed as good or bad

Many statistics are available in Oregon and throughout the country. When viewing data, there is a tendency to define a positive and negative direction of the trends. For example, unemployment numbers going down would be positive, whereas an increase in crime would be viewed as negative. However, experts are recommending that one particular statistic should not be viewed this way. They suggest that changes in the national divorce rate – either up or down – should not be considered good or bad.

There are discrepancies in the divorce rate among different organizations. Most estimate it to be between 40 and 50 percent. However, demographics can greatly affect this number. Life expectancy has significantly increased in the past 100 years, giving people more time to end a marriage. Couples over 55 are divorcing more, while younger couples are staying together more.

Several other trends were cited as having an effect on the divorce rate. The age of first marriage has increased since the 1950s. In 1972, birth control became available to unmarried couples. No-fault divorces and the women's liberation movement also influenced whether couples stayed together.

Divorce rates have not consistently been reported. It was not always tracked as a vital statistic, so there was not reliable national data for several years. Experts stress that the rate should not be judged either way. While it might seem good for the rate to go down, there could be cases when an increase in divorces would be positive. For example, those spouses involved in a physically violent relationship may find safety after ending their marriage.

Oregon residents contemplating a divorce would be wise to seek advice from an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer familiar with divorce proceedings can provide assistance during this stressful time. A strong legal team will help protect the interests of its clients and work toward achieving the best possible outcome in their proceedings.

Source: nymag.com, "Is It Good For the Divorce Rate to Go Down? -- Science of Us", Drake Baer, Feb. 17, 2017

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