How Millennials live, marry, and divorce differently than other generations
Millennials are assumed to be narcissistic, tech-smart and choosy. These traits might suggest you are self-centered and can’t stay married. However, data show millennials are marrying later, cohabiting rather than marrying, experimenting with beta marriages and divorcing less frequently than earlier generations. What’s causing this change and what do millennials need to know about divorce in Texas?
1. Millennials Marry Later.
Millennials are marrying later because you want financial stability, feel too restless to settle down and are waiting to find the right partner. Since money issues, adultery and dissatisfaction with one’s spouse are major causes of divorce, postponing marriage until you’ve resolved these problems seems sensible. Couples who marry in their late twenties are less likely to divorce than couples who marry at other ages.
2. Cohabitation and Divorce.
Millennials often live together for years prior to marriage. This is a significant change from earlier generations. Only ten percent of women who married for the first time between 1965 and 1974 cohabited prior to marriage. Today, cohabitation is the preferred state or path to marriage. Perhaps cohabitation alerts couples who aren’t compatible to break up and that’s why millennials have a lower divorce rate than their parents.
3. Beta Marriage.
Beta marriage is an idea borrowed from computer science. Computer scientists “beta test” their products with selected consumers before releasing them to the public. Millennials have applied the idea of beta testing to relationships by contracting for a two-year trial marriage as an alternative to formal marriage. Over forty percent of millennials support the idea of a trial marriage for two years, after which the terms of marriage could be renegotiated or dissolved without undue formality. Millennials believe that life is a work in progress and you must be able to make changes as you mature. However, millennials who cohabit or contract for beta marriages need a collaborative divorce attorney if the arrangement doesn’t succeed.
4. Women Are More Independent.
A generation ago, only about fourteen percent of women finished college; today over thirty-six percent of women are college graduates. This means women have more opportunities for employment, are more independent and face fewer economic pressures to marry than earlier generations. Women today wait longer to tie the knot and more often marry for love rather than economic support. Because college educated women initiate almost 90% of divorces, you definitely need to consult a collaborative attorney if things don’t work out in your marriage.
5. There Is Little Stigma to Being Single.
A generation ago, older unmarried women were called “spinsters” and stigmatized for being single. Today young women don’t need to marry before a certain age or face social rejection. Modern women can stay single and not feel excluded. This helps explain why millennials are marrying later, cohabiting or not marrying at all.
6. Parent’s Divorces Influenced Millennials.
Approximately half of millennials watched their parents struggle through a difficult divorce and it changed their views on marriage and divorce. Millennials were often pulled into their parent’s divorce by serving as sounding boards and giving emotional support. As a result, you developed a healthy respect for the difficulties associated with marriage and divorce and are wary of making commitments. Instead, you cohabit or contract for a beta marriage. But, when these relationships fail, you need a collaborative divorce attorney to help.
Millennial’s marry later and less often because you don’t feel financially or emotionally prepared to settle down. Many millennials are living together rather than marrying or contracting for a two-year beta marriage rather than formally tying the knot. Modern women have opportunities for employment and face fewer social or economic pressures to marry compared with earlier generations. Young women no longer feel pressure to get married before a certain age or face rejection. Millennials have a healthy respect for divorce.
Even if millennials are divorcing less often and cohabiting rather than marrying, you still face many of the same legal, economic and parenting issues as married couples. Cohabiting couples or spouses in a beta marriage who decide to split have accumulated significant assets and may have children. You must divide assets, arrange a parenting plan and handle child support issues if the marriage doesn’t work. Cohabiting millennial couples who split up need a collaborative divorce attorney as much as their married friends.