Many of us have been told throughout the course of our lives that nearly half of marriages end in divorce. This divorce statistic is often spun to achieve a certain end: some use it to dissuade people from getting married, arguing that they’ll just get divorced anyway, and some claim that it reveals how little our society currently values marriage. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, it may surprise you to learn that this statistic is not, and never was, true.

According to research conducted by a Harvard-trained woman, no evidence to corroborate the validity of the 50 percent number exists. The closest she could come to finding such evidence was a prediction early in 1970 that, as no-fault divorces became more common, the divorce rate might reach such a high number. However, this prediction has thus far proved false, as divorce rates haven’t come close to 50 percent.

The findings seem to point to a divorce rate that peaked around 1980, and has been in decline over the last three decades. The researcher responsible for this investigation believes that the divorce rate is much lower, likely between 20 and 25 percent. The final conclusion was that nearly three quarters of marriages last, and that roughly 80 percent of those married couples are happy.

If these numbers are true, it is interesting to note that the divorce rate is not as high as many people have been led to believe. However, the estimation still leaves as much as a quarter of the population seeking divorce. Georgia residents may fall into this 25 percent of divorce-seeking couples, and if they do, they are encouraged to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the law in Georgia. Such a consultation can ensure that divorcing couples arrive at a fair divorce settlement upon which both parties can agree.