Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney

What Affect do Age and Income have in regards to Divorce?

So we have all heard the phrase 50% of marriages end in divorce, but it simply is not that simple. Divorce is a reality that many couples face but outside factors have a drastic impact. A study by University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School found the following:

  • 81% of couples that were college grads over the age of 26 were still married after 20years.
  • 65% of couples that were college grads under 26 were still married after 20 years.
  • 49% of couples that were not college grads and under 26 years old were still married after 20 years.

So the question is what does this all mean. Obviously you can get married at 18 years old and have a perfectly happy marriage. However it appears that a 26 year old is in a better position than an 18 year old to choose a compatible partner. This should be fairly obvious. At the age of 18 we are still learning who we are so how could we understand what we need in a partner.

As far as college education goes it shows what a stress finances can put on a marriage. Money can be the source of many fights. Couples who would have lived perfectly happy marriages if finances were not an issue may find themselves considering divorce because the fighting. It is a solemn idea to think money can derail what would be a perfectly happy marriage but it does happen.

It is important for couples considering divorce to understand their motivations. It is very common people got married too young and ended up married to a person they simply are not compatible with. If this is the case a divorce may seem like a logical step to start over and allow both people to use their new found maturity to find a more compatible partner.

On the other hand if your motivation to get divorced is based on fighting caused my financial stress then you should consider alternatives. It may be possible that the fighting has gotten so bad that resentment and anger are the true issues now. However if the fights are still financially driven then looking for help with finances may be more effective than a divorce.

Divorce is not a bridge that should be crossed lightly, but sometimes it may be for the best. I urge couples to look at the source of their problems before making a decision.

DISCLAIMER: This article is meant only to provide information and is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions concerning your particular case you should make an appointment to talk to an attorney or mediator about your options. I would love to hear what other estate planning or familily law issues you find important.

by Keith Dysart, Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney and Mediator

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