Heymann & Fletcher

Does socioeconomic status predict divorce?

Those who have been through a divorce will probably say that there were several factors that influenced the decline of their marriage. One common reason that many couples in New Jersey cite is money. Many experts have long believed that people who are economically-disadvantaged may have a higher risk of divorce. A recent study decided to look at that theory and determine if any other factors may be involved.

The study followed over 400 newlywed couples who lived in the same county, in low-income neighborhoods. Over a period of five years, researchers contacted each couple five separate times and asked them several questions to determine their level of marital satisfaction. Around 10% of respondents said they had a low level of marital satisfaction, 30% said moderate and 60% said high. Though researchers expected most people's levels to significantly drop over the five year period, due to the belief of a "honeymoon phase," they actually discovered that the people in the high and moderate groups tended to remain satisfied. The group in the low satisfaction category were the ones who experienced the sharpest declines.

The researchers also examined whether the low-satisfaction couples were also the ones who may have the highest levels of socioeconomic risk. They found a correlation for women, but not for men. The researchers decided that low-income couples don't seem to be any more likely to be unhappy in their marriage than other couples.

No matter what a person's financial status may be, divorce can happen for anyone. Those here in New Jersey who have questions about the process may want to reach out to an experienced divorce attorney. There is no shame in starting a new life when it is the right choice for everyone involved.

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