Although the majority of couples wed with the intent of staying together, divorce is a serious concern. Statistically, individual Pennsylvania couples stand a 50-percent chance of staying the course after marrying. On a national scale, some areas seem to be more prone to divorce than others. However, national statistics indicate that more marriages are surviving. In fact, divorce rates in 2015 were at their lowest in nearly four decades.
There are various theories about why divorce is becoming less common. Because co-habitation has become more accepted in society, a couple can avoid the formalities of marriage and divorce. Additionally, modern couples seem to wait longer to marry, pursuing their educational and professional goals while setting aside plans for marrying and having children. Some factors seem to continue to be consistent, including the correlation between wealth and education with marital longevity. Marriage seems to be more common in conservative regions of the country.
A couple cannot always anticipate the issues of the future, but some preliminary thought about the possibility of a future split could save a great deal of stress if divorce becomes a reality later on. Prenuptial agreements, for example, can protect personal assets, businesses, and other interests if a serious fracture occurs in the relationship. However, a prenuptial agreement needs to be legally handled to ensure that both parties understand the implications of the agreement. An agreement that hints at coercion could be challenged in court in the event of divorce.
Litigation expenses can become substantial during divorce proceedings, especially if there are contentions over prenuptial documents or other financial matters. A couple that can work through the divorce process more cooperatively could minimize their legal expenses. A lawyer is still important during collaboration or mediation because it is important to evaluate the fairness of a settlement. Further, one’s lawyer can ensure that documentation is properly filed with the court to ensure that terms can be enforced in the future.