The Most Significant Factors Affecting Divorce Rate Statistics

Most Americans, thanks largely to media reports, believe that the U.S. divorce rate is at about 50 percent. Although the real rate is probably much lower, the bottom line is that many people end their marriages in the United States each year.

There are numerous factors that can have a significant impact on your marriage’s chances of ending in divorce. Depending on which factors are present in your relationship, your risk could be less than 5 percent or closer to 80 or 90 percent.

The following are a few of the most significant factors affecting divorce rate statistics among American couples:

  • Age: Couples with a significant age difference between the spouses are twice as likely to get divorced as those who are close in age. Couples who marry after age 18 are 24 percent less likely to get divorced than those who marry before that.
  • Childbirth: Couples who have their first child after marriage are 24 to 66 percent less likely to get divorced than couples who have their first child before marriage.
  • Cohabitation: Couples who live together for a significant period of time before marriage are 50 to 80 percent more likely to get divorced, according to some studies. However, researchers continue to look at whether cohabitation is a positive or negative thing as it relates to future marriage success.
  • Prior marriages: Someone who was previously divorced is significantly more likely to divorce again if he or she gets remarried.
  • Family background: People who have parents who never divorced are 14 percent less likely to get divorced themselves.
  • Education: Couples in which both spouses have a college degree are significantly less likely to get divorced than those in which only one or neither have a degree.
  • Income: Couples with a household income of more than $50,000 per year are 30 percent less likely to get divorced than those below that income level.

As you can see, your likelihood of getting divorced depends on several factors, making the 50 percent number inaccurate for most people. To learn more about your options if you believe divorce is imminent, meet with a knowledgeable Minnesota family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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