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Study: National divorce rate may actually be rising

The prevalence of divorce has long been a subject of national discussion. Although general knowledge suggests that the divorce rate is somewhere around 50 percent, studies and population analyses have suggested that the rate has been trending downward for almost three decades. However, a recently released study indicates that these findings may not actually hold true.

According to a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, the U.S. divorce didn’t peak in the 1970s. Rather, the frequency with which couples seek marital dissolution has been steadily rising since that time. They believe that previous studies have produced inaccurate results as the result of unreliable data.

The researchers leading this study also examined another growing trend: divorce among older couples. Even a number of studies suggest that divorce rates taper off as married couples get older, more and more couples are splitting up after decades of marriage according to this new research.

It’s worth noting that statistics and trends are likely to become more accurate in the future. Reports indicate that divorce questions were included for the first time in the 2008 American Community Survey, a major annual effort conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Over time, this exhaustive study will likely be able to produce more accurate and reliable divorce rate data.

No matter which way trends are actually moving, many California couples will still come to the decision to divorce. This can be a very sensitive time, as each spouse determines his or her post-divorce needs. Guidance through this process can play a critical role, regardless of whether a divorcing couple is young or old.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Is the US Divorce Rate Going Up Rather Than Going Down?” Robert Hughes, Jr., March 6, 2014