Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

What science tells us about predicting divorce

Nothing can predict divorce 100% of the time. You can find couples with all of the red flags and warning signs who, for one reason or another, decide that they're still going to stay together. You can also find couples who seem headed for divorce and then manage to turn the relationship around.

That said, studying relationships from a scientific perspective can help to predict which marriages will last and which ones will end. You can see trends over the years. You can see which red flags most often lead to the end of a relationship. This helps to identify marriages that are at risk. Some of the main signs are:

  • Dropping out of high school
  • Getting married after age 32
  • Getting married while still a teenager
  • Being too affectionate right after getting married
  • Struggling with employment
  • Viewing the relationship as at least partially a negative part of your life
  • Not being able to communicate
  • Always withdrawing and avoiding conflict

Many of these things seem fairly obvious; it's clear to most people that someone who thinks of their relationship as a negative may be more likely to end it. Others are surprising, though, such as the link between overly-affectionate newlyweds and higher divorce rates later on in life. These are not things you would typically see as red flags, though the trends show that that's exactly what they are.

Whether or not you have seen these traits in your own life, do you think you and your partner are heading toward divorce? If so, make sure you are well aware of the legal rights that you have.

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