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What Are the Major Risk Factors for Divorce?
Even though the divorce rate hovers around 50%, predicting which couples will divorce and which ones will stay together isn’t always easy. However, relationship experts have identified a number of risk factors that increase the odds of divorce.
Caution: Don’t Confuse Correlation With Causation
“The greatest concentration of doctors in Chicago is at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Chicago’s greatest concentration of sick people is located at the exact same facility. Therefore avoid doctors because they make people sick.”
What is wrong with this reasoning? The problem is that it confuses correlation with causation. Just because there is a high correlation between the presence of doctors and the presence of sick people doesn’t mean that doctors actually cause people to become sick.
When reading the risk factors presented below, keep in mind that they are statistical correlations between divorce rates and certain behaviors or circumstances. This correlation may or may not indicate that one actually causes the other.
Some people find it counterintuitive that cohabitation should be correlated with divorce. After all, doesn’t cohabitation give people an idea of what marriage will be like before they dive into a permanent commitment?
On the other hand, it might be the case that couples who decline to cohabitate start off with more conservative values regarding marriage, resulting in a reluctance to divorce even in the midst of a difficult marriage.
You Had an Expensive Wedding
Spending more than $20,000 on your wedding dramatically increases your odds of divorce. Experts are not sure why this is the case.
One Spouse is a Heavy Drinker
Alcohol consumption is positively correlated to divorce. Remember the correlation/causation problem, however—did drinking drive one spouse to seek a divorce?
You or Your Partner Have Been Divorced Before
The divorce rate is higher among second marriages than it is for third marriages, and higher for third marriages than it is for second marriages.
At Least One Spouse Had No Religious Upbringing
Members of some religious communities face ostracism if they divorce. Additionally, many people internalize religious taboos against divorce, leading them to stay married when they might have divorced had these taboos been absent.
You Never Finished College
College graduates earn significantly more on average than high school graduates do. Add that to the fact that financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce, and it’s not hard to see why there is a correlation between educational attainment and divorce rates.
Pregnancy Occurred Soon After the Marriage
It is likely that this factor correlates positively with divorce because of the number of couples who marry solely because of an unexpected pregnancy.
One or Both Spouses are Physically Attractive
Some researchers have concluded that physical attractiveness leads to greater opportunities (and therefore temptations) for infidelity.
A judge declared one spouse mentally incapacitated at least three years before the filing of the divorce petition
In the vast majority of cases, a judge will grant a divorce even over the objection of one spouse, except that delay might be necessary to resolve contested issues of child support, property division, etc.
Navigating the Troubled Waters of Divorce in Orlando, FL
Understanding the factors leading to divorce can be intricate. For clarity and guidance tailored to your situation, a dedicated Orlando divorce lawyer can be priceless.