Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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Is your marriage high-risk?

When you go to the doctor, you probably complete a family health history. You check the box if your mother had cancer or your father suffered from diabetes. To your doctor, these may be indicators that you are especially vulnerable to those conditions yourself. If your parent's heart disease was complicated by poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking habits, you may have worked hard throughout your adult life to avoid those additional risk factors. If heart disease is in your genes, you must redouble your efforts at avoiding it.

Psychologists believe there are similar risk factors in a marriage. While these factors may not necessarily spell the demise of your marriage, you may have to put more effort into staying together if any of these conditions exist between you and your spouse.

It's out of my control

Some factors that psychologists say affect your chances of divorcing may out of your power to regulate. For example, you can't help how good looking you are, and this is one of the links to a high chance of divorce. Nevertheless, according to one study, attractive people may be more susceptible to temptation, and this may cause the demise of many marriages. Other factors under your control that may place your marriage at risk include:

  • Not finishing college
  • Spending too much on your wedding
  • Having your first child right away

Some studies also show that couples who have daughters first have a higher rate of divorce, but this is not something you can control.

The past isn't always in the past

What happened before may still affect you. For example, if you have already gone through a divorce, the odds of subsequent marriages lasting longer than 10 years are much lower. There is some evidence that suggests your marriage may reflect that of your biological parents. In other words, even if a happily married couple adopted you as an infant, the divorce of your biological parents may have a more profound impact on the longevity of your own marriage.

Whether you had all or none of these risk factors, if you are currently facing a divorce, you probably don't want to dig through your familial and genetic past to figure out the reasons. Instead, you likely want legal assistance in determining the best course of action to protect your rights. The decisions you make during the process of your California divorce can have a lasting effect on your future.

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