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High school sweethearts, take note.
To avoid divorce, it's best to wait a few years before getting hitched. But holding out for too long isn't a good idea either, according to a new report from University of Utah researcher Nick Wolfinger.
Research has long shown that couples who tie the knot in their late 20s have a lower rate of divorce than people who marry in their early 20s. But Wolfinger found that after the early 30s, odds of a legal split go up again by 5 percent per year.
Age 32 appears to be the tipping point, according to the analysis posted on the Institute for Family Studies' blog this week. The finding wasn't robust enough to warrant an academic article, the researcher said Friday. But he believes the trend is worth pointing out.
Wolfinger's analysis bucks the notion that older newlyweds have reduced chances of divorce later on. He considered data that were collected from 2006-2010 from the National Survey of Family Growth.
Wolfinger, a professor of family and consumer studies, finds that not all traditional wisdom is wrong: Relative to older adults, teens still face a higher risk of divorce.
The findings point to a gradually developing trend, Wolfinger added.
Previous data from 2002 hinted at the beginnings of a long-term shift. It suggested the divorce risk for people who married in their 30s had stopped edging downward and had started flattening out around the start of the new millennium.
"It's interesting because the finding is a departure from the way things used to be," Wolfinger said. "It's only recently that 30-something marriage started to incur a higher divorce risk." He has no immediate plans for a follow-up analysis.