The divorce rate in the United States really spiked when no-fault divorce laws were created, and this sparked some concern that divorce was just going to grow more and more popular as time moved forward. However, what we’ve actually seen in recent years is that the divorce rate is dropping again in the United States.
Some may argue that this means that couples in 2021 are happier with their marriages than they were in previous decades. But is that actually what’s going on?
The role of cohabitation
What has actually changed is that people are cohabitating more than ever, often choosing never to get married or simply putting it off for years. This was something that was really seen as taboo for previous generations, so younger couples would get married when they wanted to live together, but that stigma has changed. Couples are comfortable living together without getting married, so they don’t always do it.
What this means is that a lot of these younger couples are not getting married or divorced. They may still live together, break up, and move apart, but they don’t need to go through the legal divorce process. Statistically, this makes it look like relationships are more stable, but the relationships are the same. They’re just defined differently from a legal standpoint.
Navigating the end of your relationship
If you’re ending your relationship, you certainly need to know about all of the legal steps to take. Keep in mind, though, that you may also need to deal with issues like child custody or splitting up joint property, even if you were never technically married.