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Age, education and attitude influence chances of divorce

Social scientists have identified a variety of demographic factors and behaviors that increase the likelihood of couples getting divorced. For example, a newlywed couple in Kansas that displays affection frequently could actually see the romance fizzle more often than their less affectionate counterparts. The results from a 13-year study of 168 couples showed a higher divorce rate among the people who had started out with intense passion.

People getting married in their teens or after their mid-30s choose divorce more often than people who launched their unions during their late 20s or early 30s. Age differences between spouses revealed divorce trends as well. People with a one-year age difference have a 3 percent higher chance of divorce than spouses of the same age. A five-year spread worsens the probability of divorce by 18 percent. A divorce becomes 39 percent more likely between spouses with ten-year age differences.

Educational levels influence marital relationships. College graduates have a divorce rate of about 30 percent whereas people without a high school diploma have a divorce rate above 50 percent.

Communication patterns, such as treating a spouse with contempt or withdrawing from tough conversations, often result in dissolved marriages. One researcher said that these negative behaviors can be very difficult for people to alter because that requires adopting respectful strategies when dealing with conflict.

A person who believes that a marriage has reached the point of divorce could ask an attorney for information about the process. An attorney might explain how the law could guide child custody and property division. Specific financial issues, such as splitting retirement accounts or paying spousal support, could be researched by the attorney. A legal representative could also challenge efforts by the former partner to infringe upon the person's property or parental rights.

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