A recent article published online discusses the changes in heterosexual marriage and divorce trends in the United States. In this article http://www.today.com/money/marriage-luxury-good-class-divide-who-gets-married-divorced-8C11457474 statistics reveal that marriage has become a sort of “luxury good” reserved for the more educated and elite.
Here are the key facts and driving forces regarding marriage as a “luxury good”.
In the 1940’s college educated women were the least likely to get married. Now those with a college decree are more likely to get married. Why? Greater equality between men and women at work and at home, have led to two income households where both spouses work. Women who want to work feel they can while not sacrificing marriage and a family life. This is unlike former generations who felt they had to make a choice between career and marriage/family.
- Men and women who are well educated are drawn to a spouse who is equally educated and financially sound resulting in marriage to someone at the same socio-economic level. Given most people marry those with the same educational and economic backgrounds marriage is not as much an equalizing force as it used to be. As the article states “the doctor used to marry the nurse. Today, the doctor marries the doctor.”
- Diverging fortunes for those at the upper and lower end of the economic playing field, resulting in less marriages at the lower end of spectrum. Lower, middle, upper class people are becoming more and more isolated from one another resulting in relationships with those from the same socio-economic background. But why are those from the lower socio-economic stratus not marrying?
- There is increasing pressure to have a certain checklist before getting married and having a family. And there is a certain “American” standard of living one must have while raising a family. You are expected to be well-educated and financially stable before marriage. If you are neither and the instability of your life makes marriage seem like a bad idea you won’t get married. Therefore less and less of those who make less are marrying, though many are still co-habitating and having children. This co-habitation is not the secure kind we often find in Northern and Western European countries.
- Those who are wealthier are more likely to stay married. People can speculate why this is, but there is no doubt that being economically secure makes marriage easier over the long-haul. No fighting over bills, college tuition, and no lack of leisure spending.
The term family continues to evolve. Therefore divorce and custody disputes evolve as well. Any attorney who practices in this area must understand the changing landscape of their clients. More and more clients need help with, co-habitation agreements, custody arrangements when non-marital relationships end, child support disputes in non-marriage situations, common-law marriage issues, among others. In addition, divorce clients may have different concerns because of division of greater assets and liabilities, reversal of traditional male and female gender roles, greater educational equality between the spouses, among others. That’s why it is imperative that you find a family law lawyer who can handle a wide range of issues dealing with divorce, child custody, and co-habitation. The Katy family law attorneys at the Sarah Springer Law Firm, PLLC can provide this for you.