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Marriage, divorce rates may be stabilizing

People in Texas might be less likely to get divorced than in the past several decades. According to data released by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, the divorce rate is the lowest it has been in almost 40 years. However, experts caution that this does not necessarily mean that any one marriage is likelier to last, and some say the likelihood of a couple's divorce remains about 50 percent.

An increase in the number of couples living together has been cited as one probable factor in the plummeting divorce rate. People are choosing this over matrimony. Younger people are also getting married at later ages. However, marriage has shown a small increase, and in 2015, it was at its highest point since 2009. This may be a sign that the decline of marriage in recent decades is now stabilizing.

In 1980, divorce hit a high with 23 divorces per 1,000 married women older than 15. By 2014, it was down to 17.6, and by 2015, it was 16.9. Second or third marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages.

People may need to think about children and their financial security when they contemplate divorce. They might want to talk to an attorney about what outcomes would be acceptable to them. A divorcing couple does not necessarily have to go to court and have a judge decide how property will be divided and who will have custody of the children with no input from them. They might want to opt for mediation and come to a legal agreement that suits them both. Mediation can also be used to bring a divorcing couple closer to an agreement on certain points even if they need to go to litigation for some decisions.

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