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Does waiting too long to marry increase the odds of divorce?

People in the U.S. tend to wait longer to get married for the first time than their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did. This likely is due to several factors, including the fact that more women work outside the home than in decades past and changing attitudes toward premarital sex.

Delaying marriage until you are older has been associated with many positives, but a new study discussed by WBNS-TV suggests that waiting too long may be bad for your relationship. The study, released by an organization called the Institute for Family Studies, suggests that after age 32, the odds of divorce actually go up.

According to the study, someone who gets married for the first time at 20 is twice as likely to get divorced as someone who waits until he or she is 25. The chances of divorce continued to go down by about 11 percent per year of age — until age until 32.

At that point, the odds of divorce begin to increase by 5 percent per year of age. The study suggests that increased maturity, improved coping skills and enlarged social networks built up during people’s 20s and early 30s help them solve problems in their marriages they could not have fixed in early adulthood.

On the other hand, people who wait until after 32 to marry for the first time may be ill-suited for such a commitment, the researchers say. They believe that arguments about money and whether to have children are more likely to lead to divorce for those who did not marry until their 30s, 40s or older.