Young people who decide to get divorced may point to historical evidence that it can work. For instance, a young woman may mention how her grandmother got married at 20 and stayed married for decades.
That’s fine, but experts note that marriage has changed tremendously in the last 60 years. Back in 1960, about 50% of women did tie the knot by 20. Many got married in their teens.
But that was a different world. One expert pointed out that women in the 1960s:
- Did not have nearly as many career opportunities
- Depended on men and marriage for financial support
- Did not have flexible gender roles
- Did not have an advanced education as often
Today, in 2020, married often takes negotiation. It takes work. Gender roles are not the same as they once were. Women are not nearly as dependent on men for support. All of this means that the risk of divorce is far higher for those who get married young, even if it worked for their grandparents.
One key factor is education. If getting married cuts into educational opportunities, that increases the risk of divorce for a young couple.
It’s also worth noting that, with the rise of no-fault divorce, it’s easier to split up now than it used to be. Social stigmas have also shifted so that people do not view divorce the way that they once did.
This isn’t to say that you’re absolutely going to get divorced if you got married young, but you need to understand the risks that you face and the legal options you have if it does happen.