Millennials. Depending on who you talk to, you might hear that millennials are innovative and advocates for setting your own course in life, or you might hear that they rude and antisocial. One thing that’s for sure, though, is that millennials drive change and set — or destroy — trends regularly.

One such trend that millennials are supposedly “killing” is divorce. According to recent research, millennials are largely responsible for the 18 percent decrease in divorces between 2008 and 2016.

Reasons for the decline

The professor behind the research says that there are several factors that likely contribute to the decline in divorces. Among them are: 

  • People waiting longer to get married
  • Increased acceptance of cohabitation
  • More people having a college degree
  • Fewer young people having children

These factors paint a picture of people waiting to get married until they are economically stable and independent. Waiting to have children also makes it less likely that a couple will marry before they are ready to because they are having a baby. 

The researcher says that these attitudes combine to make marriage rarer and more of an “an achievement of status” rather than something that everyone does or is expected to do. 

Divorces still happen

While divorce rates may be down and young people may be waiting longer to marry, divorces still happen. They can happen to young, newly-married couples and couples who have been married for decades alike. People still experience changes in heart, overwhelming obstacles and irreparable damage in their relationships that push a marriage beyond its breaking point.

And no matter how old you are or what the reasons are behind the decision to divorce, you should appreciate the importance of protecting yourself. This could mean working with an attorney to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, mediating a peaceful separation or as a last resort, litigating a complicated divorce in court.