Does the Age You Get Married Impact Divorce Rates?

There are many factors in a marriage that can cause or contribute to a divorce. The truth is, the causes for divorces in the United States, like relationships, are very complicated. Even though the divorce rate in America has dropped, in large part due to the Millennial Generation, there are numerous reasons why married couples do not make it until death do they part – one of which is the age they got married.

All Marriages Require Hard Work

Unfortunately marriages do not last based solely on personal chemistry or physical attraction. When you choose to get married, you are vowing to love your partner for better or worse. No one gets married expecting to divorce. However, studies have shown that variables such as age, income, employment status, and education have significant impacts on U.S. marriages.

How Age, Income, and Education Affect Divorce

According to The Institute for Family Studies the ideal age to get married is in your late twenties, but why? When you decide to get married at an older age, your odds of divorce decline because at this stage in your life you usually have a higher education, a more stable job and are more established financially. With a higher level of education, your potential to earn more money is greater. Couples who experience more tension in their marriage from things such as a lack of money and maturity, frequently find themselves turning what were just thoughts of divorce into a reality.

The Divorce Rate Is Dropping Thanks to Millennials

Younger Americans are waiting much longer to get married. The national median marriage age as of 2011 for a woman’s first marriage was 27 years old, and for men was 29 years old; the highest median marriage age in decades for men and the highest ever for women. In 2005 the national median marriage age for a woman’s first marriage was 25 and for men was 27.

Many young folks have decided not to get married at all and choose instead other arrangements. It is much more common now, and many consider it more convenient, to move in with his or her partner without having to worry about the social pressures from society to get married first. With the average divorce happening about 12 years in to the marriage, we will have to wait and see if this recent generation of newlyweds will continue to keep their vows.

Divorce 101 for Filipinos

Here’s a situation: A and B, both Filipinos, went to the United States to get married. After several years, marital troubles started to occur between the couple and after efforts at reconciliation failed, the two started to part ways. They figured that since they were married in abroad, they decided to get a divorce in the US.

Upon return to the Philippines, after obtaining a decree of divorce, A and B mutually divided their properties between them and went their separate ways. Now, here’s where it gets tricky: Apparently, A incurred debts after their ‘divorce’. And now creditors are after not just A’s properties but also that B’s, which left the latter distraught. Is this even possible? Yes.

First things first: Divorce is NOT applicable to Filipinos. Even if the couple successfully obtains a decree of divorce, the same is VOID in the Philippines. In effect, in the eyes of the law, the couple is still legally bound as husband and wife.

Art. 15, otherwise known as the Nationality Principle, of the New Civil Code provides:

Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

Given this, the creditors may go after the property of B as the same forms part of the community property of with A. After all, they are still a married couple.

However, Divorce obtained outside the country, may, in certain instances, be recognized in the Philippines. How?

Article 26 of the Family Code, reads:

All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

What makes this provision applicable to Filipinos are the presence of the following elements:
1. That the there is a valid marriage between a Filipino and a foreigner.
2. That the alien spouse obtains the divorce abroad and such decree capacitates him/her to remarry.

What if the Filipino later on became a naturalized foreign citizen, is this now applicable to him? It depends. In Republic vs. Orbecido III, the Supreme Court ruled that: “The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.”

For more information about this topic, you may contact Atty. Joyce Felisa B. Domingo-Dapat at (+63) 917 548 8045. Atty. Joyce is the founding partner of Domingo Munsayac and Associates. Her practice areas include intellectual property law, family law, real estate transactions, corporate law, immigration, taxation and litigation. She also specializes in estate planning and handles judicial and extrajudicial settlement of estates

Three Categories of Family Law Documents

This branch of the law covers all legal matters that pertain to a family. This can include marriages, divorces, prenuptial agreements, adoption, civil unions, property settlement, child custody and visitation and more. To become an attorney that deals with family law you have to first get your bachelor’s degree, attend law school and then pass the bar but if you plan to specialize in family law there are many different specialties to choose from, including adoption, neglect, abuse, divorce, paternity, custody and visitation, paternity, and more.

Marital unions

Under this category marital unions include civil and traditional marriage unions. It rarely includes formal pleadings. The reason is that this area of the progress of family life is less contentious. This means that not many couples at this stage are filing actions against each other. Some of the documents include:

• Name change forms
• Certificates of marriage
• Prenuptial or premarital agreements

These documents may be called by other names in different jurisdictions but they all cover the same area. Some jurisdictions may also enable other types of actions under the category of martial unions but the general concepts as to what is handled by these forms, agreements, and certificates are common in all jurisdictions.

Marital termination

This category is where you will find most of the documents. These documents deal with marital terminations and include divorce, separation, and annulment. One of the parties will initiate a court action to sue for relief. These particular documents will mirror the types of pleadings that are filed. In addition to asking for termination of the marriage the documents can also include replies to the court action filed and any counterclaims. Some of the more common documents can include motions to restrain a spouse from deleting the marital assets, temporary alimony, and court costs. This category of family law documents include all the attachments and forms that are used to establish the marital estate as part of the proof that will be needed to reach an amicable and fair divorce settlement.

Parent-child relations

In this category are the actions that will do the following:

• Appoint a legal guardian
• Establish paternity
• Deal with the issues of support, custody, and visitation
• Removing a child from a home for cause

The petitions can also include motions to modify an order for child support, and motions for contempt for failure for either party to comply with any prior court orders.

As you can see there are many different documents that a family law attorney has to deal with so that is why many specialize in one particular area although some may practice in more than one area. To be sure which specialty volunteer to work for a family law firm.