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Divorce rates may not accurately reveal split likelihood

California couples may be interested to learn that divorce rates aren't as easy to predict as people might assume. Some estimates, like the cohort measure rate that examines specific population groups' divorce incidences in relation to life tables, give rates between 40 and 50 percent. Others reveal far lower figures. For instance, the refined annual divorce rate, which counts how many divorces there are for every 1,000 married women, produces a rate of less than 2 percent.

Other measures also vary widely, such as the percentage ever divorced, which measures people who have gotten divorced at least once in their lives. This figure shows that 21 percent of men and 22 percent of women have gone through a divorce, although many eventually remarry. The crude divorce rate, on the other hand, measures divorces per 1,000 people of either gender, and while it reveals a rate of around 1.3 percent, its inclusion of all people makes it less of a useful measurement.

Experts suggest that personal factors could have bigger impacts on someone's likelihood of divorce than statistical measures do. For instance, couples that disagree about wanting children or have significant age differences might be more prone to separate. On the other hand, getting married after 18, graduating college or having more shared income could reduce a couple's divorce risks.

Even though the end of a marriage can seem like an unwelcome outcome, it may be the healthiest course of action for many couples. Parents who separate peacefully instead of letting their marital troubles build, for instance, might improve their odds of providing their children with healthier home lives. Attorneys with experience handling divorces may be able to help couples reach amicable decisions about how to move forward.

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