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Don’t Be a Statistic: What Percentage of Marriages End in a Divorce?

Most people getting married plan to spend the rest of their lives with their significant other, playing out their own fairytale. However, things aren’t always picture-perfect. You may have heard an alarming statistic stating that 50% of marriages end in divorce. But is that still the case? The U.S. divorce rate is one of the highest globally and has been this way since the ’60s. Although it may be slowly decreasing, preparing for every possibility with a prenuptial agreement is paramount so that you can protect yourself, your partner, and your family members in the unfortunate event of a divorce.

How Many Marriages End in Divorce?

If you’re getting married, considering a separation, or going through a divorce, you may ask how many marriages end in divorce? Understanding the facts behind divorces can help you and your partner prepare for future obstacles.

Although most people have heard that 50% of marriages end in divorce, it has decreased slightly over the years to approximately 40-50%. But according to the Census Bureau, the divorce rate actually increases after the first marriage, with 60% of second marriages ending in divorce and 73% of third marriages. The odds are not in your favor for the third marriage – it turns out the third time is not the charm in this case.

Divorce is On the Decline

The divorce rate is declining, but many factors create that gradual decrease. Fewer people are getting married, which means fewer people are getting divorced. But why aren't people taking the plunge and getting married? With the millennial generation taking charge, marriage is not a top priority for most. As the marriage rates decrease, the cohabitation rates increase when those figures were not even close two decades ago. While people live with one another and wait for marriage, there is also a higher acceptance of single-parent homes, increased financial struggles, and greater use of birth control.

Reasons Why Marriages End in Divorce

There are several reasons why marriages end and couples separate, but other outside factors can influence a divorce. The COVID-19 pandemic tested relationships with country-wide lockdowns and quarantines, causing one of the most significant single-year increases in divorces in years. Another factor is seasonal spikes in divorces, usually between January and March, due to the holiday season's strain on families and couples. Besides the usual reasons for divorce, having divorcee friends can also increase the possibility by 33% for a marriage ending in divorce. But, the most common grounds for divorce are infidelity, consistent arguments, lack of commitment, marrying too young, and abuse.

Preparing for Every Possibility With a Prenup

A prenuptial agreement prepares couples for every possibility because regardless of how healthy your relationship is, there is always the chance of something unfortunate happening. A prenup will ultimately save both parties from emotional and financial stress and provide security throughout the marriage – plus, it saves time and fees during the divorce process.

When should you get a prenup with your significant other?

  • If there are several assets or a significant amount of money

  • Ownership in family assets, family business, or personal business

  • If there are children from a previous marriage

  • If you’ve experienced one or multiple divorces

  • If there is a large amount of debt before the marriage

It can be challenging to have these conversations with your partner, but being candid and honest will help your marriage in the long run. Once you both agree on signing a prenup, then you can find an attorney who will guide you through the legal process of a prenuptial agreement. Anyone and everyone can benefit from a prenup, regardless of the number of assets or money in the bank. Seeking an attorney experienced in divorce law can help ease the process and create a document that works for both parties.

No Prenup? No Problem. Having a prenup in place can add an extra level of security and safety throughout the marriage. Still, if you didn’t sign an agreement before marriage, other options are available to you.

Postnuptial Agreement

A postnuptial agreement allows a couple who is already married to create a plan in the case of divorce, separation, or death. This kind of agreement also allows a couple to continuously update their document if there are changes in finances or marital issues.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is another alternative when going through a separation. This process allows both parties to express their wants for the dissolution of their marriage while a neutral attorney helps mediate. Finding a skilled attorney and mediator can ease the process and help both parties reach an agreement and ultimately leave amicably.


A trust allows an individual to entrust their property and assets to one or more people to protect those assets in the case of a divorce or death. Trusts can be used by family members to help protect inheritances by making the assets the property of the trust. This allows you to protect your assets from dividing in a divorce prior to or during your marriage.

Although the divorce rate is decreasing, there are still a lot of marriages that unfortunately end in divorce. Understanding the statistics and reasons why divorce is so common will better prepare you during your marriage or separation. Planning for every possibility with a prenuptial agreement or other alternative asset protection plans will decrease stressors in your marriage and provide a safety net for each partner. Reach out to a divorce lawyer for any questions, concerns, or learn about what options would best fit your situation.

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