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Divorce rate decreases with age at nuptials -- to a point

Love may find you at any age. Unmarried people should not assume they will be single for life, if they do not want to be. In fact, getting married too young has been associated with higher divorce rates. However, a new university study suggests that getting married later in life also can be risky.

The study suggests that there is a “sweet spot” age to get married, for those looking to stay together with their spouse for life. Too young, and the couple may lack the maturity, interpersonal skills and support network to work out relationship problems. Too old, and other relationship problems seem to arise, according to the Deseret News.

Researchers believed that they would find steadily decreasing divorce rates the older the first-time spouses were at their wedding. So it was a surprise to find that divorce rates actually began going up by 5 percent per year of age after age 32.

This flew in the face of prior research on the subject. For instance, in 1995 couples who married at ages 20 through 24 got divorced within five years 19 percent of the time, and couples who waited until they were 35 or older had a five-year divorce rate of 14 percent.

By the latter half of the last decade, 19 percent of couples who married when they were older than 35 did not last five years. The authors of the study are unsure why this apparent change has occurred. It has traditionally been believed that the older the spouses are when they get married for the first time, the more likely they are to stay together.

It is probably true that different people are ready for marriage at different points in their lives. Some people find their match in their 20s and live happily ever after; others who get married relatively young find they need to get a divorce.

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