When a couple makes the decision to get married or enter into a civil union, they have high hopes for the future. Getting divorced is the last thing anyone thinks about on their wedding day and if what is happening in Colorado is any indication, couples that join together in Colorado will be part of a trend of more couples staying married than getting divorced.
Fewer Divorces Among Colorado Couples
According to an analysis of state records and court filings, the divorce rate in Colorado is at its lowest level in a decade. In 2013, the latest year available from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there were 21,483 divorces or 4.08 divorces per 1,000 residents. That places Colorado’s divorce rate at the lowest rate since 2004. The actual number of divorces in Colorado has risen over the last several years, however, the state has also experienced a population boom of more than half a million people during this time. Despite the rise in the total number of divorces, Colorado’s divorce rate is lower than it has been in a decade.
The falling divorce rate in Colorado is consistent with a national trend, and it turns out that a state’s rate of divorce has a great deal to do with the level of education its residents have attained. Those who receive college degrees have lower rates of divorce, in part because they wait longer to get married. In 1964, the average age for getting married was 23 for men and 20 for women. In 2014 the average age was 29 and 27 respectively.
For many, waiting longer to get married allows individuals to further develop their career and economic stability. As money is often the largest stressor in a marriage, having a greater amount of financial security can lead to longer term marital success.
In addition, marrying later allows individuals additional time to develop emotional maturity. Research shows the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the regulation of emotion, doesn’t fully develop until about 25 years old. Those who attend college before marrying have the opportunity to explore life and better understand who they are as an individual before they commit themselves to another.
Higher Education and Divorce
However, receiving a college education can sometimes create tension in a relationship – especially if the couple is not equal in terms of level of education attained. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, women now outpace men in college enrollment, and U.S. Census Bureau data also shows that males lag behind females in college enrollment, particularly among blacks and Hispanics. In 1994, the number of male and female recent high school graduates who were attending college was close to even – with 63% for females and 61% for males. However, by 2012, the percentage of female recent high school graduates attending college had increased to 71%, but remained the same for males.
Colorado currently ranks second in the United States for bachelor degrees held per person and according to the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, weekly compensation for employees with a bachelor degree is $1,108 — 70% greater than those residents with only a high school diploma. Colorado’s divorce rate is declining, in part, because there are a great deal of educated people living here.
Contact Laura Monty Law, LLC
If you and your spouse reside in the Larimer County or Fort Collins region, and are considering filing for divorce in Northern Colorado, do not hesitate to contact Laura Monty Law to explore a variety of divorce options. We provide collaborative divorce representation, divorce mediation services, legal advising for uncontested divorces and contested divorces, and a full array of divorce and family law services to meet your family’s needs. We strongly believe in taking a compassionate approach to family law, and recognize that every situation is unique.