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Experts try to explain divorce decline

Divorce rates are on the decline, but any particular married couple in El Paso still has a roughly 50/50 chance of seeing their relationship end in a separation. According to Bowling Green State University's National Center for Family & Marriage Research, marriages are on the rise as well. However, there is not necessarily a correlation between the divorce and marriage statistics.

In 2015, the divorce rate dropped for the third year straight. The current rate, 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women over the age of 15, is the lowest it has been in nearly four decades. Experts say the drop has been caused because younger people are marrying later in life. Furthermore, while marriage is on the rise, it is still at lower levels than in previous decades. With more people choosing to move in together rather than get married, divorce may simply not be as necessary.

A higher divorce rate is correlated to lower incomes and lower education. In addition, some geographic areas have significantly different rates of divorce. For example, in Washington D.C., where divorce is most common, there are almost 30 divorces for every 1,000 marriages.

A couple's individual situation affects how their divorce will unfold. For example, a young couple married for a short time may have few assets and no children. An older couple whose children are grown may have many assets such as property and retirement accounts. Couples with minor children may need to make an agreement regarding child custody, support and visitation. A divorcing couple may want to negotiate a separation agreement with help from an attorney.

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