Higher Education and Divorce

divorce risk, Illinois divorce lawyer, DuPage County family law attorney, Conventional wisdom dictates that there is a strict correlation between educational attainment and divorce. According to a 2013 report released in the Monthly Labor Review, a publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), both men and women with a college education tend to marry later than their non-college-educated counterparts. Marrying later in life could be one reason that people with college degrees are also less likely to divorce than those without any higher education. The average age among those who had not completed high school to be married was 22.8, while the average age among those with a college degree was 24.9. The BLS found that approximately 50 percent of marriages end in divorce among those who did not complete high school. Comparatively, roughly 30 percent of marriages among those with a college degree end in divorce.

It used to be that marriages in which the woman was better educated than the man were more likely to end in divorce. This could have been due to social stigmas associated with women outperforming their husbands, but according to a 2014 study this is changing. The report, published in the American Sociological Review, “suggests that not only are men marrying women with higher education levels than them in greater numbers,” but also that these marriages have a comparable divorce rate to marriages in which both partners have the same education or in which the men have more higher education.

Divorce among marriages in which women were more educated than men hit a peak in the 1950s and 1970s. This association began to decline in the 1980s as society and women’s roles in the workforce continued to change, but this decade is the first in which the association was entirely comparable to the general divorce rate. One of the study’s authors says that more research needs to be done into the correlation between women out-earning their husbands. While American women are statistically earning more degrees than men, “they are still making less money from those degrees.” Because of this, it is difficult to study the effect of earning as a result of higher education on marriages.

If you or someone you know is considering divorce, the most important step is to seek the counsel of a legal professional. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney today.

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