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Study casts doubt on 'silver splitter' trend

Marriage

London - If you are in your first few blissful years of marriage, you might want to look away now.

For a study has found that for every year a couple stays together, the less likely they are to divorce – and it’s the first decade that’s the hardest.

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Bulgarians meet the first July sunrise at the Black sea coast of Varna some 450 kms. (280 miles) east of the capital Sofia, Tuesday, July 1, 2008. Every year on 1st of July hundreds of Bulgarians traditionally celebrate this July morning. (AP Photo/Petko Momchilov)

So while honeymooning couples have a one in four chance of splitting, for those who reach their golden wedding anniversary it’s just one in 1 500.

The odds, which were worked out for the Marriage Foundation think-tank, has cast doubt on the apparent “silver splitter” trend which says divorce and separation is becoming more common among older couples.

Official figures have pointed to a worrying rise in divorce rates among the over-45s and a doubling of numbers of divorcees aged over 65.

However, Marriage Foundation analyst Harry Benson said that the “silver divorce” trend is down to the fact people are marrying at older ages.

He added: “Divorces are happening among older generations, but rates by year of marriage are almost unchanged since the 1970s.

“With each year that a couple makes their relationship work, the easier it becomes for them to stay together.” The report, based on ONS statistics, found that the risk of divorce for a couple married for ten years is one in four.

But after 20 years it drops to one in eight, while being together for 30 years means your risk is just one in 25.

And after 40 years, the chance of splitting is down to one in 150. At the 50th wedding anniversary the prospect of divorce has shrunk to a tiny one in 1 500.

Marriage Foundation founder and former High Court family judge Sir Paul Coleridge said: “After the tenth anniversary the chances of going through a divorce diminish significantly year by year. This is very good news. It shows that effort invested in the marriage pays real dividends over the longer term.”

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