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Divorce Risk Factors
What puts a marriage at risk for a divorce? s. These are not "reasons" that couples divorce, but rather factors that put a couple at higher risk for divorce even before marriage. For the causes of divorce (cheating, financial problems, etc.-- see "Causes of Divorce").

  • Getting Married Young
    Studies show that the younger people are when they get married, the higher their chance of divorce. About 50% of couples who marry under age 18 end in divorce, compared with 40% of couples under 20, and just 24% of couples older than 25.
  • Cohabiting before marriage
    Living together before marriage greatly increases the risk for divorce, as does having multiple sexual partners. Interestingly, having one premarital sex partner doesn't increase the risk for divorce for women.
  • Being Previously Divorced
    People who have had divorces in the past are at a higher risk for divorce in the future.
  • Having Divorced Parents
  • Having children from a previous marriage
  • Having an a short courtship before marriage
    There is no "right time" to get married, however getting married very quickly (within just a few months) does put you at risk, because you don't know the other person well enough.
  • Being of different faiths
    When two people are of different religious faiths-- about 20% divorce rate. Couples that are of different faiths but then later join one church have a low divorce rate (6%)
  • Race
    African americans have a higher divorce rate, about 11.3%, compared with whites (9.8%) and hispanics (7.6%). Asians have the lowest divorce rate.
    Interracial marriages also have a higher divorce rate.
  • Earnings & Income
    Couples that earn less than $25,000 have a good chance of being divorced within ten years. Couples who earn a higher income are more likely to stay together.
  • Your career
    People in the military have the some of the highest divorce rates, especially those on active duty. Police officers, firefighters, and doctors have divorce rates higher than the general populations.
  • Smoking
    Smokers have a 53% risk of divorce, regardless of other factors.


Related articles:
First two years of marriage predicts divorce
The Benefits of being married
The Strenghts of Happy Couples
Tips for a Happy Marriage and Relationship
Cohabiting Vs Marriage

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