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Divorce rate declines for third year

For three years in a row, the divorce rate in the United States has declined. Rhode Island is listed as one of the states with the lowest divorce rate, which seems to be pretty good news on the surface. In reality, this doesn't mean that marriages here are any more likely to last.

There are a host of reasons why the divorce rate could decline. These include the population aging, couples settling into gender roles that fit their lifestyles -- even when those roles are reversed -- and fewer marriages taking place. Currently, the thought is that divorces are on the decline because young people are waiting longer to get married.

Even with the decline in divorce rates, experts still note that the chance of a marriage lasting versus ending is still about 50-50. That statistic might seem disturbing to people who are getting ready to walk down the aisle, but it is a good reminder that you should prepare for the possibility of a divorce before you sign the marriage license.

Interestingly, more and more people are living together without getting married. This includes people who are 50 years old and older. These live-in situations could also account for the lower divorce rate since ending the relationship wouldn't involve filing for divorce.

If you are planning on getting married, you should explore the possibility of a prenuptial agreement. If you are already married and your marriage is nearing the end, you should learn about your rights and responsibilities if you do end up getting a divorce. The more you know, the better you can prepare for the future events.

Source: Bloomberg, "Divorce in U.S. plunges to 35-year low; R.I. among states with lowest rates," Ben Steverman, Nov. 17, 2016

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