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Education, age when marrying among factors in divorce risk

Many studies have examined various factors that predict whether a couple is more likely to get a divorce. For example, Pennsylvania couples who did not finish high school are more likely to divorce than those with more education are. This could be related to stress due to a lower income.

However, a lower income does not appear to be a factor in couples where the husband works part time instead of full time. A husband with only a part-time job still increases the likelihood of divorce, so this could be related to the perception that the husband should be the breadwinner. Couples with large age gaps or got married in their teens or after the age of 32 also have a higher chance of divorce. The late 20s appears to be the best time to get married to lower the divorce risk.

There also are emotional indicators of a marriage's vulnerability. Partners who show contempt for one another are more likely to get divorced. However, one study also found that newlyweds whose affection for one another was particularly intense also are more likely to divorce. This could be because it is difficult to sustain this level of intensity. Couples that consist of one person who is demanding and one who withdraws are more likely to divorce. Another indicator of a higher divorce risk as is a tendency to speak negatively about the relationship.

If a marriage does end in divorce, the couple may have to make decisions about property division and child custody. This can be difficult for couples who have fallen into some of the conflict patterns described above, but if they are able to reach an agreement with their attorneys, they may be happier with the outcome than with litigation. If a judge decides, the couple may have little recourse if they are unhappy with the final decision.

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