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Illinois Divorce and Marriage Rates Continue to Decline

 Posted on December 22, 2012 in Divorce

A recent article in Chicago Magazine analyzed data available on the state data portal in terms of marriage and divorce trends in the state of Illinois. While some of the data is not surprising, such as the rise of the divorce rate in the mid-1960s along with the rise of feminism, more recent data is surprising. Specifically, since the mid-1970's, not only has the marriage rate been in decline, but the divorce rate has been in decline, as well.

In keeping with national trends, the Illinois marriage rate is the lowest in recorded history, and continues to decline. However, the divorce rate today in Illinois, which is slightly lower than the national divorce rate, or 3.6 divorces per 1,000 couples per year, is at its lowest point since 1970. Despite the fact that there are fewer marriages than ever, the Illinois divorce rate is still at an all-time low. More specifically, first marriages that took place in the 1980s had a lower proportion of divorces with each successive anniversary, and that proportion of divorces was even lower for first marriages that occurred during the 1990s.

Two economists who participated in gathering this data attribute these rates at least in part to the overall changes in the typical married couple over time. Marriage today is far less likely to take place for young adults, but more likely to occur with older adults. In general, people are waiting longer to get married. One possible interpretation, then, is that while people are not getting married as often, those who do choose to marry are typically having longer-lasting marriages.

Despite these encouraging statistics, there are still are plenty of marriages that ultimately end in divorce, as well as people who have children together outside of marriage who later separate. These situations result in disputes that may necessitate the intervention of the court system for resolution. Should you find yourself in this situation, you should contact your DuPage County custody and visitation attorney for assistance with your case.

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