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Am I at Risk for Divorce?

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If you’re in a deeply unsatisfying marriage, you may not realize it but there could be various factors that indicate you’re at risk of getting a divorce. For instance, if this is your second marriage, or if you had a “shotgun wedding,” or if you married before you turned twenty, you could have a higher risk of divorce than say, your best friend who got married for the first time at the age of thirty, after graduating college and starting a successful career.

“Are there things that make me more likely to get divorced?” According to research, “Yes, absolutely.” For most people, creating a successful marriage takes a lot of determination, effort, hard work and creativity, but unfortunately, research has discovered that there are certain factors that can certainly make it harder. According to relationship experts, the following are common “risk factors” that increase the likelihood of divorce.

Like heart disease and Type II diabetes, obesity raises the risk factors of these diseases, but it does not guarantee an obese person will have a heart attack or get diabetes. Likewise, if the below factors apply to your marriage, it does not mean that your relationship is doomed, it simply means that your odds of splitting are higher.

1. You’re extremely good looking.
Ever wondered how extremely good looking people resist temptation when they’re married? According to the authors of a paper published in Personal Relationships, being physically attractive is linked to a higher chance of getting divorced. Finally, research has confirmed what we thought all along: It can be hard for gorgeous people to say “no” to advances, even when they’re married. Understandably, 9s and 10s are more vulnerable to temptation than average-looking spouses.

2. Your parents are divorced.
Jessica Salvatore, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University told Health, “A lot of scientific evidence to date has suggested that seeing your parents go through a divorce contributes to your own propensity to experience divorce yourself.” Salvatore goes on to say that “those studies haven’t controlled for the fact that those parents are also contributing genes to their children. By looking at adopted children, we’re able to separate out the genetic factors and the environmental ones.” She said that the genetic link is likely because of inherited personality traits, such as impulsivity and neuroticism, both of which are linked to a higher risk of divorce.

3. One of you drinks more alcohol.
Does your spouse love to get drunk every weekend while you’re the sober driver because you don’t touch alcohol? Or, do you love to have a couple of glasses of wine each night while your spouse has a strict “no drinking” policy? According to a 2014 study conducted by the University of Buffalo, researchers discovered that when one spouse was a heavy drinker while the other one was not, between 45% and 55% of those couples were divorced within 10 years compared to 35% for couples where both partners or neither partner imbibed.

4. You were married at a young age.
For a long time, we’ve heard that it’s not smart to get married fresh out of high school. According to the Institute for Family Studies, “Scholars have long known that youthful marriage is a strong predictor of divorce.” Statistics show that getting married in your late teens and early twenties increases the chance of divorce, while getting married in your late twenties and early thirties decreases the risk. However, studies found that getting married after the age of 32 increases the risk of divorce once again, according to IFS.

5. You spent a fortune on your wedding.
Many couples dream of having a big, extravagant wedding, but what they don’t realize is that spending more than $20,000 can make them 3.5 times more likely to get a divorce than couples who spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on the big day, according to researchers at Emory University. Interestingly, the study found that couples who spent less than $1,000 on their wedding had the lowest risk of divorce.

6. You had a child right away.
There is no doubt that raising a child is hard work and it can place a lot of pressure on a new couple who barely knows each other. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that when a woman married for the first time and they waited at least eight months from their wedding day to give birth, they were more likely to be married for 15 years than women who gave birth within seven months of the wedding.

7. You do not have a bachelor’s degree.
In recent years it has become clear that lasting marriages are strongly linked to education. In fact, a 2012 national Health Statistics report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that female and male high school graduates had a 41 and 47% chance of being married for 20 or more years. In contrast, women and men who earned a bachelor’s degree or better, had a 78% and 65% chance of being married for at least 20 years.

8. You’re an atheist.
If you are a woman who was raised in a religious household, you’re more likely to stay with your spouse than a woman who was raised without religion, according to 2012 National Health Statistics data. Catholic women had a 53% chance of staying married for 20 years, while protestant women had a 50% chance. Meanwhile, women who were raised in another religion had a 65% chance of staying married for at least 20 years.

Can you relate to any of the above risk factors for divorce? If so and you’re ready to speak with a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, contact Claery & Hammond, LLP for a free consultation.


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