10 Risk Factors for Divorce

10 Risk Factors for Divorce

Are you at risk for divorce?  According to relationship experts, there are divorce “risk factors.” Read on to read what the top 10 are.

10 Risk Factors for Divorce

Like risk factors for heart disease or liver cancer, the traits and habits listed below don’t cause divorce. They simply raise a couple’s odds of divorce. Your Parents are Divorced. “A lot of the scientific evidence to date has suggested that seeing your parents go through a divorce contributes to your own propensity to experience divorce yourself,” author Jessica Salvatore, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, told Health in an interview. You Have Different Alcohol Habits. A 2014 University of Buffalo study found that among couples in which one person was a heavy drinker and the other was not, 45 to 55% divorced before reaching their 10th anniversary. You Were Married Young You’re Attractive. Authors of a paper published in the journal Personal Relationships found physical attractiveness was linked to a higher likelihood of getting divorced. You Had an Expensive Wedding. During a 2015 study done by Emory University, it was found that women whose weddings totaled more than $20,000 were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than women whose weddings cost between $5,000 and $10,000. Men and women who ended up spending less than $1,000 on their nuptials, were the least likely to divorce. You Got Pregnant Quickly After Getting Married.  Data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that women (in a first marriage) who waited to have a baby at least eight months after their wedding day were more likely to make it to their 15th anniversary than women who had a baby before the big day or within the first seven months.

You Had a Daughter First.  A 2014 study published in the journal Demography suggests marriages that are already headed for divorce might actually produce baby girls because of a concept called “the female survival advantage”. “Girls may well be surviving stressful pregnancies that boys can’t survive,” said study co-author Amar Hamoudi. “Thus girls are more likely than boys to be born into marriages that were already strained.”

You Didn’t Finish College.  A 2012 National Health Statistics report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed women and men who completed college had a 78% and 65% chance, respectively, of their marriages lasting at least a decade. Among women and men with a high school diploma, just 41% and 47% had a chance of the same marriage duration. Women and men with some college education, but not a bachelor’s degree, had a 49% and 54% of a marriage lasting two decades.

You Were Raised without a Religion.  According to data from a 2012 National Health Statistics study, Protestant women had a 50% chance of their marriage lasting a decade. Catholic women had a 53% chance of their marriage lasting a decade. Women raised in “other religions” had a 65% chance of staying married that long. Women who were not raised with a religion had only a 43% chance.

You’ve Already Been Divorced. According to CDC data, about 35% of first marriages end within 10 years, while about 40% of second marriages end within that period.


A divorce, also known as dissolution, legally ends a marriage or domestic partnership. Following a divorce, both parties are considered single, and thus free to enter a new marriage or domestic partnership. In California, there are two grounds for divorce: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. Two types of divorce are available in California: Summary Dissolution and Regular Dissolution. Summary Dissolution provides an easier way to handle divorce, as it only requires a few forms. You do not have to appear before a judge either. Summary Dissolution is only available to those who have been married or registered domestic partners less than five years, have no children together, and have few assets and debts. If a couple does not meet the requirements for Summary Dissolution they will need to file for Regular Dissolution.

The Steps of the Divorce Process

The steps required for a divorce will be completely dependent on the relationship. A marriage that was short, did not involve children, where the spouse did not acquire property or debt together will obviously require less sorting out than a marriage that lasted 26 years, where the spouses bought a house and had three children. When there is less “accomplished” during the marriage, there is less to sort out during the divorce process. In shorter marriages, a couple is even able to obtain an expedited divorce. In fact, there are various forms of divorce available (of course, you will need to ensure your state laws regarding these types of divorce), including the following: Summary Divorce: This is an expedited divorce procedure for couples who meet the following requirements: haven’t been married for very long (usually five years or less), don’t own much property, don’t have children, and don’t have significant joint debts. Both spouses must agree to the divorce and file court papers jointly. There is no need to go to trial with this form of divorce. Uncontested Divorce: This is when both spouses agree to the terms of a divorce and file the court papers cooperatively. There is no need to go to trial with this form of divorce. Default Divorce: This is when you file for divorce and your spouse doesn’t respond. A court is able to grant you a divorce even if your spouse did not participate. This is often what happens when spouses cannot be found. There are a number of rules regarding this form of divorce, so you will need to consult a family law attorney or your local divorce court system to obtain this form of divorce. Fault and No-Fault Divorce. California is a “no-fault” state, and what this means is that rather than placing blame on a spouse, all you need to declare is that you and your spouse have “irreconcilable differences” or have suffered an “irremediable breakdown” of your relationship. In fault states, you are able to assign fault to a spouse - such as adultery. There are a number of rules regarding assigning “fault,” so you will need to consult a family law attorney or your local divorce court system. Mediated Divorce. This is a very common process, during which a mediator serves as a neutral third party to help you and your spouse resolve the aspects of your divorce. A mediator does not make decisions, but rather helps the both of you come to an agreement on everything. Collaborative Divorce. Collaborative divorce is a kind of hybrid between a standard divorce and a mediated divorce. You and your spouse both hire separate lawyers that are trained to work with each other to settle your case. This can also involved a larger team of a financial or tax or property adviser. Each spouse discloses all necessary information for fair negotiations, and then meets with each other and both lawyers to discuss settlement. In this form of divorce, if you are not able to settle and thus have to go to court, the original attorneys you have worked with withdraw from the case and you’ll need to hire different attorneys to take your case to trial. Arbitration. In arbitration, you and your spouse hire a private judge, called an arbitrator. The arbitrator makes the same judgments a judge would make. Both spouses must honor the arbitrator’s decisions as if a judge had made them. Contested Divorce. This is when spouses are unable to decide on property or child custody, or any other aspect of a marriage. The decision will have to be made by a judge in court. You will need to go through settlement negotiation and hearings.  If spouses are unable to resolve the case after that, a court trial is held to determine the aspects of the divorce. Regardless of if you want a divorce, want a legal separation, need an annulment, or decide to cancel a divorce like the Dempsey’s, it’s always advised that you work with a divorce attorney.

Working with a Divorce Attorney

If you are facing a divorce, you should work with a divorce attorney that can take a look at your specific situation and give you advice based on it, rather than approach it with a one size fits all mindset. Your specific situation will be particular to you and your marriage and the way your life was set up during the marriage. This might mean major financial decisions regarding retirement funds, property, child support and custody, and alimony. A divorce attorney will work with you to help you decide how you want to tackle these elements of your marriage and divorce, while also providing guidance and support. They will be able to lead you through the process while keeping you from procrastination and caving into pressure. They’ll also be able to help ensure you meet all the required timelines while ensuring that you get a fair case and trial should you need to go to court. Lastly, they’ll be able to help you find the freedom and new life you are seeking - one that is entirely on your terms. For advice on divorce, you need the expert law firm of 619 DIVORCE. Schedule a consultation today. (619) DIVORCE 3555 4th Ave San Diego, CA 92103 Phone: (619) 503-3050