It has long been understood that there is a link between the age at which someone gets married and the odds that they will get divorced. As a general rule, getting married younger carries a greater risk of divorce. This means that the risks are often highest for those who get married in their teens or their early 20s.
Yet, as the marriage age in the United States continues to increase, studies have questioned whether there is an ideal age to marry that carries the least risk of divorce. These studies have determined that this “ideal” age is 32 years old.
The rise and fall of divorce odds
For every year before turning 32, someone has an 11% higher chance of getting divorced. This means that the odds of an eventual divorce are much higher for someone who marries at age 18 than they are for someone who marries at age 32. They are slightly lower for someone who is 25, who has waited longer and eliminated some of that risk, but still higher than they would be at this ideal age.
However, this trend interestingly reverses course if people “wait too long” to get married. For every year after 32 years old, there is a 5% greater chance of getting divorced. This is why experts will sometimes advise that people do not wait too long to get married, even though it is also wise not to rush into marriage. Finding a balance apparently provides the best opportunities (statistically speaking) for truly stable relationships.
One important thing to consider is that many people who are over 32 years old may choose to enter a second or subsequent marriage. These marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages. So part of the reason that the odds of divorce go back up after 32 may simply be that some individual choose to divorce for a second time, which impacts these statistics.
That being said, both first and second divorces can be complex, and there are many legal issues to work out when a divorce is imminent. Those who are going through this process need to understand all of the legal options at their disposal, which makes seeking legal guidance proactively a particularly good idea.