If you could have predicted the odds that your former marriage would have ended in divorce, what do you think it would it be?  5%, 10%, 90%?  What if you are remarried – what do you think your current risk of divorce is?  Would you even want to know?

The risk that you will divorce has some serious implications. We do know that certain factors can impact your risk of divorce- your age, education level, income, etc.  But there was still no real way to synthesize all those risk factors and quantify the overall divorce risk – that is, until the divorce calculator came along.

A University of Pennsylvania economist, Betsey Stevenson, designed a digital widget for Divorce360.com that amalgamates recent divorce data and produces a result that actually predicts your odds of divorce.

The calculator can be found here.

While we all hear that 50% of marriages end in divorce, the divorce calculator boasts that it debunks that statistic.

To examine that proposition, I took the test myself.  As a divorce lawyer witnessing divorces every day – in real time and on the ground – I was, shall we say, realistic.  But the divorce calculator told me that someone in my demographic should in fact be optimistic.  In reality, all my contemporaries should be.

The calculator suggests that me and my law school friends, marrying in their 20’s and 30’s and have been married under 10 years, have about a 5% chance of divorce.  By contrast, high school graduates who marry in their early 20’s have an approximately 20% of divorce.

Of course, as with many sociological and economic studies, these percentages just tell us that certain factors are correlated with divorce; they obviously do not cause divorce.  However, the data dpes provide useful insight into the trends among certain groups of people.  Who knows, it  may even influence a decision by you or a loved one to marry or remarry.

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Eliana T. Baer is a frequent contributor to the New Jersey Family Legal Blog and a member of the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Eliana practices in Fox Rothschild’s Princeton, New Jersey office and focuses her state-wide practice on representing clients on issues relating to divorce, equitable distribution, support, custody, adoption, domestic violence, premarital agreements and Appellate Practice. You can reach Eliana at (609) 895-3344, or etbaer@foxrothschild.com.

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