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Research uncovers significant shift in divorce trends

The longstanding theory when it comes to the ages at which couples are most likely to divorce is that those who tied the knot later in life are far more likely to stay married than their younger counterparts.

Interestingly enough, however, a professor at the University of Utah recently discovered that this may no longer be the case.

After analyzing comprehensive data on divorces here in the U.S., the professor discovered that the group with the lowest rates of divorce over the last 20 years has actually been those who walked down the aisle sometime between their late 20s and early 30s.

As if this wasn't shocking enough, his research also revealed that this pattern held true even when accounting for such factors as education, race and religion.

While the reasoning behind what one journalist called "the Goldilocks Theory of Marriage" -- i.e., it's best in the middle, not too young or too old -- is unclear, the professor did theorize as to why the divorce rate starts to climb again as people enter their mid- to late-30s.

Specifically, he posits that those who put off marriage until later in life are perhaps opting to marry people who are a less than ideal match for them or that they were perhaps never predisposed toward marriage in the first place.  

Whatever the reason behind the study results, it should cause older people entering a marriage -- whether it's a first or a third -- to think long and hard about the possibility of executing a prenuptial agreement. That's largely because they are far more likely than their younger counterparts to own a home, have started a business or accumulated valuable assets.

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