CHARLOTTE, N.C. — People went crazy over “The Ultimatum” on Netflix. On the show, one person in each couple was ready for marriage, while the other was not. While people had mixed opinions on the show itself, there was one common thought, many of these couples were too young to get married.
If you get married before the age of 25, are you statistically more likely to get divorced?
- Jackie Greco, a licensed clinical mental health counselor with Sun Counseling and Wellness
- Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociological researcher
Yes, if you get married before the age of 25, you are statistically more likely to get divorced.
WHAT WE FOUND
Wolfinger looked at data from 2006 to 2010 in the National Survey of Family Growth. He found after five years of marriage, couples who married as teens have a 38% risk of divorce and those who got married between the ages of 20 and 24 had a 27% risk.
“What we know is that the human brain doesn't fully develop until individuals are in their mid-20s," Greco said. "So in terms of people's ability to regulate their emotions, to understand what's important to them in terms of what they value, when you're in your early, middle, and even into your late 20s, you're still developing very much as a young adult into adulthood. So there's a lot that's changing. And it's easy, I think, between the age of you know, your teens and in your mid-20s, to be a very different person. And not that that doesn't mean that there's not core elements to who you are, that stay the same, but that a lot is changing. So when couples get together at a very young age and are moving through that time in their lives, there's a lot of things that are changing as these individuals are changing into their own people, but also then trying to figure out how you continue to make that work in your marriage can bring up a lot of issues."
If you wait until the ages of 25 to 29 to get married, your risk of divorce goes down to 14%. It drops down to 10% if you wait until 30-34 to get married.
People getting married at an older age is something we have started to see more recently.
“Millennials are getting married later in life, in their 30s," Greco said. "But they're also staying married for longer compared to other generational data."
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