Education and Divorce

A person's education level can affect many things. It might even have impacts when it comes to their relationships. For example, an analysis from National Center for Health Statistics researchers indicates that, for both men and women, having a college education is associated with a higher likelihood of having a long-lasting marriage.

The analysis was based on data regarding individuals between the ages of 15 and 44 covering the 2006-2010 time period. The analysis estimated the likelihood, for individuals entering a first marriage, of going twenty years or more without one's marriage ending through divorce or separation. The estimated probability of having such a long marriage was much higher for individuals with college degrees, with the difference being particularly stark among women. Specifically, the analysis found the likelihood to be:

  • 78 percent for women with a bachelor's degree.
  • 40 percent for women with an education level of high school or less.
  • 65 percent for men with a bachelor's degree.
  • 50 percent for men with an education level of high school or less.

What do you think is driving these differences?

As a note, education level's impact on divorce likelihood is not the only intersection point between education and divorce. Education-related issues can also be factors during the divorce process.

For example, such issues can come up in relation to financial matters in a divorce, like alimony and the splitting of marital property. For one, what happens in relation to divorce financial issues could have impacts on a person's ability to achieve certain education goals they have post-divorce, such as goals to get a college or master's degree. Thus, education goals are among the goals it can be vital for a person to factor in when deciding how they want to approach financial matters in their divorce.

Also, the debt a person obtained in relation to their education could end up being a significant matter in their divorce. This is because how debt acquired during the marriage will be divided is among the financial issues divorces address.

Divorce lawyers can help individuals who are ending their marriage understand how their divorce could impact their education goals and ascertain how best to address issues that touch on education and student debt in the divorce.

Source: Pew Research Center, "The link between a college education and a lasting marriage," Wendy Wang, Dec, 4, 2015

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