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Young Americans are optimistic about marriage: Should they be?

Every year, thousands of Americans prepare in excitement for the day they will commit to spending the rest of their lives with their partner. Many of these people are young, and according to a recent study, very optimistic about marriage. This recent study reports that 86 percent of 18 to 29 year olds polled expect their marriages to last forever. The survey's author explains that the remaining 16 percent polled likely do not plan to marry.

Considering that approximately half of all marriages end in divorce, this optimism about marriage lasting forever will probably not last for everyone polled. So, young people have hope for their futures. The study's author points out that maybe a bit more realistic thinking could be helpful. Many of these couples will likely end up questioning their marriage later on. What happens when these couples realize one, five, or ten years down the road that their marriage is not working?

Like many couples before them, these couples will face the questions of divorce. When? Why? What about the kids? Couples struggling to answer these questions may feel like life is out of control. While many pieces of the future are missing, having hope for the time after divorce may make the present easier to handle.

Optimism helps young Americans make the commitment to marriage. An optimistic mindset about the future might also help people facing divorce later on. While optimism may help a person face the present, it is probably not enough to work through the details of a divorce. When the time comes to sort through property division, child custody arrangements, assets and alimony decisions, consulting an attorney may make the divorce process easier.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Marriage expectations: Young people expect marriages to last," Katharine Lotze, Aug. 17, 2012

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