Young adults optimistic about the endurance of marriage

A new study conducted by Clark University, located here in Massachusetts, indicates that young people aged 18-29 are highly optimistic about their marriages lasting a lifetime. 86 percent of the people polled across the US indicated they thought their marriages would endure for life.

Today roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, but the Clark study shows that most young people go into marriage with optimism that they won’t become part of that half. Furthermore, the study showed that children of divorce were most optimistic they wouldn’t follow in their parent’s footsteps, even though studies show that children of divorced couples are more likely to get divorced themselves.

The study may just be evidence of the human trait of optimism, as nobody goes into a commitment as demanding as marriage resigned that despite their best efforts it will come undone. But the truth is that for unforeseen reasons and life’s complications, marriages do fail, and a large percentage of those who never thought it would happen to them will probably find themselves in the midst of a divorce at some point in their lives.

Divorce doesn’t have to be viewed as a failure, and it doesn’t have to involve a protracted court battle over property division, child custody or alimony. Many couples are able to settle their differences and move on with their lives through the process of divorce mediation.

In mediation, the focus is on finding mutual solutions, and often when divorcing couples are able to put aside anger, blame and all the emotions that come with the perceived failure of a marriage, they are able to do so.

Source: NY Daily News, “Most young adults expect marriage to last a lifetime,” Aug. 13, 2012.

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