Most people who get married are relatively close in age. They may not be exactly the same age, but they’re within a few years. Much of this, at least for couples that met when they were younger, has to do with the fact that they met in college, when they are likely to be mostly around people within a few years of their own age.
But does that mean that a larger age gap is an issue? Say you don’t go to college but get a job right out of high school. By 20 years old, you’re dating a co-worker who is 27. If the two of you get married, are you more likely to split up than a couple that is closer in age?
Studies are somewhat inconclusive. Some suggest that an age gap doesn’t matter. You can certainly find a lot of examples, especially with wealthy couples and celebrities, of some extensive age gaps.
However, some studies have said that the best chance of avoiding divorce is when people are no more than five years apart in age. If someone is 25 and they marry someone who is 29, the age difference is not substantial enough to matter. If they marry someone who is 10 years or more their elder, though, that could drive up the chances of divorce.
One thing to consider is that these marriages at younger ages may make the difference feel more drastic. Someone who is 29 probably won’t feel like they’re at the same place in life as someone who is 19. If it’s a second marriage at 49 and 59, though, that same gap may feel less substantial.
Regardless of age, those who get divorce need to take the time to look into the legal process.