Risk of di­vorce drops with ev­ery year of mar­riage

Scottish Daily Mail - - Life - By Steve Doughty So­cial Affairs Correspondent

IF you are in your first few bliss­ful years of mar­riage, you might want to look away now.

For a study has found that for ev­ery a year a cou­ple stays to­gether, the l ess likely they are to di­vorce – and it’s the first decade that’s the hard­est.

So while hon­ey­moon­ing cou­ples have a one in four chance of split­ting, for those who reach their golden wed­ding an­niver­sary it’s just one in 1,500.

The odds, which were worked out for the Mar­riage Foun­da­tion think-tank, has cast doubt on the ap­par­ent ‘sil­ver split­ter’ trend which says di­vorce and sep­a­ra­tion is be­com­ing more com­mon among older cou­ples.

Of­fi­cial fig­ures have pointed to a wor­ry­ing rise in di­vorce rates among the over-45s and a dou­bling of num­bers of di­vorcees aged over 65.

How­ever, Mar­riage Foun­da­tion an­a­lyst Harry Ben­son said that the ‘sil­ver di­vorce’ trend is down to the fact peo­ple are mar­ry­ing at older ages.

He added: ‘ Di­vorces are hap­pen­ing among older gen­er­a­tions, but rates by year of mar­riage are al most un­changed since the 1970s.

‘With each year that a cou­ple makes their re­la­tion­ship work, the eas­ier it be­comes for them to stay to­gether.’ The re­port, based on ONS sta­tis­tics, found that the risk of di­vorce for a cou­ple mar­ried for ten years is one in four.

But af­ter 20 years it drops to one i n eight, while be­ing to­gether for 30 years means your risk is just one in 25.

And af­ter 40 years, the chance of split­ting is down to one in 150. At the 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary the prospect of di­vorce has shrunk to a tiny one in 1,500.

Mar­riage Foun­da­tion founder and for­mer High Court fam­ily judge Sir Paul Co­leridge said: ‘Af­ter the tenth an­niver­sary the chances of go­ing through a di­vorce di­min­ish sig­nif­i­cantly year by year. This is very good news. It shows that ef­fort in­vested in the mar­riage pays real div­i­dends over the longer term.’

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