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Marriages on the rise while divorce rate drops

Research conducted by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University contained some good news for the institution of marriage. In Maryland and across the country, the marriage rate was 32.2 per 1,000 women in 2015. This was a small but significant increase from the rate of 31.9 per 1,000 women in 2014. Researchers suggested that this increase indicates that marriage rates could be leveling off after years of decline.

As for divorce rates, they fell for the third year running and hit a low point that has not been seen for close to 40 years. In 2015, 16.9 divorces took place among every 1,000 married women age 15 and up. In 2014, data showed a divorce rate of 17.6 per every 1,000 women. Divorces peaked in 1980, when nearly 23 marriages ended for every 1,000 women.

Researchers identified socioeconomic status as a factor in marriage survival. Affluent couples experience longer marriages than people with lower incomes and less education. Overall, marriages still have about a 50 percent chance of ending in divorce.

When a person decides to end a marriage, legal issues like child custody, spousal support and property division may need to be addressed. A person has the option of hiring an attorney to assist with the process of coming to terms with the ex-spouse. An attorney could lead negotiations with the ex-spouse and potentially shelter the client from unpleasant emotions that could get in the way of effective decision-making about parenting time and parental relocation. If negotiations and mediation do not produce acceptable results, the lawyer could begin litigation and present the client's agenda in court.

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