Divorce Risk Factors: Are You At A High Risk Of Divorce?

divorce risk factors

National statistics show that nearly half of American marriages end in divorce. Those statistics have been on the decline over the last decade, but there is still a large portion of the population that sees an end to their relationship before it’s ever really begun. Premarital counseling, marriage counseling, and divorce prevention counseling can help you avoid being on the bad end of the numbers, but some couples are naturally at a higher risk for divorce than others. Listed below are some common divorce risk factors you can watch out for in your marriage.

Young Age

Younger adults are at a higher risk of divorce than older adults. Much of this spawns from maturity and self-discovery. Even though 18 is considered the age of adulthood here in America, many adults spend a portion of their early 20’s growing up and discovering who they truly are and want to be. This growth can lead a husband and wife in two different directions, making them less compatible than they were when they were younger.

Michigan has a relatively high average age for first marriages. Men in this state marry between the ages of 28 and 29, and women get married around the age of 27. These are averages though, and they have been increasing since the 1970’s. If you got married young or plan to marry in your late teens or early 20’s, we strongly recommend working with a marriage counselor to guide you through your lifestyle changes and ensure success in your matrimony.

Premarital Childbearing

Having a child or getting pregnant before getting married does increase your risk of divorce. Approximately 40.6% of all births in America are from unmarried women, resulting in 1.5 million children born out of wedlock. While there are couples who choose to get married after giving birth or discovering the pregnancy, those unions have a high divorce risk. That is because the foundation of the marriage is the child, but other factors are needed for a marriage to truly succeed.

If you have a child born or created out of wedlock, work with a counselor to determine if marriage is truly the right step for you as a couple. If you are already married, you can seek advice from a marriage counselor about ways to strengthen your relationship and build family bonds.

Family History Of Divorce

Consider this a “lead by example” mentality. Adults with divorced parents are at a higher risk of getting divorced themselves. This is not to say that you will get divorced if your parents are divorced, or that children not exposed to divorce will not get divorced as adults. The correlation is there, but you can fight it by making sound decisions through the course of your marriage. Once again, premarital counseling and family and marriage counseling can help you avoid the same mistakes your parents made in their marriage so you have a higher chance of success and long-term happiness.

Personal Insecurities

Back in November, we discussed the importance of self-worth and understanding your true value. Not only will this help you interact better with others, but it will actually lower your risk of divorce. Adults with personal insecurities often struggle in longstanding relationships because they are worried their spouses will find someone better out there. This could develop trust issues between bother partners, or one spouse may become exhausted from reassuring the insecure spouse about his or her self-worth.

If you struggle with low self-esteem, there are counseling and therapy programs available to help you build your confidence and find your purpose in life. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to learn how we can help you work through your personal insecurities and strengthen your marriage at the same time.

Low Income

Financial stress is one of the most common causes of divorce, so it makes sense that low-income households have a higher risk of divorce than mid- to high-income households. Various research studies have aimed to pinpoint the specific income level that increases a couple’s divorce risk, but the results vary by location, family size, cost of living, etc. In general, couples with strong financial stability have a lower risk of divorce than those who struggle to maintain work and consistent pay. The risk of divorce associated with income increases when children are involved because of the increased stress levels on both parents.

Interestingly enough, women who come into a relationship with an independent source of income are less likely to get divorced than those who rely on their partners for financial support. A study from Psych Central showed that college-educated women with independent income who married after the age of 25 only had a divorce rate of 20%. Of course, this factors in income, age, and education (discussed below), but it does show that financial stability can significantly improve the chance of success in a marriage.

Limited Education

Education is somewhat linked to income when it comes to the risk of divorce. Married couples with some college education are considered to be less at risk of divorce than those with an incomplete high school education. There are other elements in play here – education leads to better job opportunities, which leads to a higher income level. With the way the job market is transforming in the modern world, having a college education is becoming less influential in a person’s ability to secure high-paying work. Over time, education may not have quite as much impact on a couple’s divorce rate.

Living Together

Premarital cohabitation is a double-edges sword. In many instances, living together can help a couple see if they are in fact compatible with one another on day-today basis before they commit to getting married. In essence, this is a “trial run” before the marriage becomes official. With that in mind, some studies show that people who live together with more than one partner are at a higher risk of divorce when they finally marry one of their cohabitating partners. Many researchers think that this is because people who have lived with more than one partner in the past have a more lenient view on divorce, and they do not see marriage as the strong commitment it actually is. No matter what your living situation may be before you walk down the aisle, you can work with a marriage counselor to ensure that you and your spouse stay together for the long haul.

Lacking Guidance

At the end of the day, we all acquire skills by learning from other people. Keeping a marriage going is a skill that every married couple needs to know. With the right guidance, you can avoid the risks of divorce and maintain the successful relationship you both deserve. Get advice from people in your life who have had long marriages, and work with a marriage counselor to preserve the bond in your relationship. Learn how to communicate with your spouse so you can address (and fix!) problems as soon as they arise. This is a continual process that will last for the rest of your life, but it’s worth it. Grow together, not apart, and you can have the longstanding relationship you’ve always dreamed of.