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7 things science says
predict divorce

The best time to get married is when you feel
ready, and when you’ve found someone you think
you can spend a lifetime with. Don’t force
anything — or put it off — because a study
told you to do so.

That said, research does suggest that couples
who marry in their teens and couples who
marry in their mid-30s or later are at
greater risk for divorce than couples
in their late 20s and early 30s. The
risk is especially high for teenage couples.

That’s according to research led by Nicholas
Wolfinger, a professor at the University
of Utah. After age 32, Wolfinger found,
your odds of divorce increase by about
5% every year.

Click here for the full report

California Divorce Basics
Learn the basics about
the divorce process in

This article sets forth the general rules
and procedures for obtaining a divorce
in California. The rules and procedures
apply to opposite-sex couples, legally
married same-sex couples, and registered
domestic partners who wish to dissolve
their relationship.

California Divorce Basics

Here’s What The Divorce
Rate Actually Means

We’ve been told for decades now that
half of all marriages end in divorce
— and that it’s only getting worse.
But, as is the case with most “facts”
that get repeated (and repeated
and repeated), that’s not quite
true. And it turns out that
divorce rates are actually falling,
not rising.

Click here all the information

California Divorce Laws

Here you will find an overview of California
divorce laws. From the time the Petitioner
files the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage,
until the time the Final Judgment of Dissolution
of Marriage is signed by the Judge of the
Superior Court, California has certain procedures
that need to be followed. These procedures are
all in accordance with California laws, encompassing
spousal support, child custody and visitation,
child support, and community property distribution.

Click here

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How Do I Prepare
for Custody Mediation?

By B. Robert Farzad

The child custody mediation to which we refer is the mandatory mediation at court. The court sets this mediation date when a parent files a request for child custody order. This is not a private mediation with a privately paid mediator, where the parents get to choose a retired judge or lawyer to be the mediator. This is the mediation to which Family Code 3170 refers and which states:

“(a) If it appears on the face of a petition, application, or other pleading to obtain or modify a temporary or permanent custody or visitation order that custody, visitation, or both are contested, the court shall set the contested issues for mediation.

(b) Domestic violence cases shall be handled by Family Court Services in accordance with a separate written protocol approved by the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council shall adopt guidelines for services, other than services provided under this chapter, that courts or counties may offer to parents who have been unable to resolve their disputes. These services may include, but are not limited to, parent education programs, booklets, video recordings, or referrals to additional community resources.”

Read the full article click here

Divorce Can Be Taxing:
How the New Federal Tax
Law Impacts Your Family
Law Decisions

Written by:
Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Myers, LLP

Click here for the full report.

Everyone is buzzing about the new tax overhaul recently passed by Congress. How does it impact you and your family law choices for 2018 and beyond? In a four-part blog series, we will address the consequences of various parts of the tax bill with regard to all aspects of divorce and what you should consider when moving forward with your family law case.

Part 1 of 4: General Filing Status Considerations
If you’re brave enough to dive right into the text of the 1000+ page law, you’re bound to notice dozens of changes for individuals from prior tax law. It’s important to note, though, that most of the changes for individuals and families are set to expire after 2025. It’s unsure what exactly will happen when the clock runs out on these individual tax cuts, particularly considering the issues with the national debt. Congress will have to act again when these terms expire, which could mean another wave of tax law changes that can impact your family.
The first question that comes up with taxes and divorce is the change in your filing status and rate schedule. Most married couples file joint returns for the beneficial tax rate. However, this is not the only option, and your filing status may change as you navigate separation and divorce. Marital status is determined as of the end of the taxable year. This means that your marital status on December 31 decides your options for filing status for the prior year – whether your divorce was finalized that day or the day you said “I do.” However, if a taxpayer is legally separated from his or her spouse “under a decree of divorce or of separate maintenance,” he is not considered married for tax purposes under the federal law. Additionally, if a taxpayer is still married and files a separate return while maintaining a household where (1) the other spouse has not lived for at least the last six months of the taxable year, (2) a child lives principally for at least half of the taxable year, and (3) that taxpayer is responsible for over half the costs of maintaining that home, then that taxpayer is also not considered “married” for federal tax law purposes.
Taxpayers who are “heads of household” are subject to a different tax schedule. Heads of households are defined as individuals who are neither married at the end of the taxable year nor a surviving spouse. In order to qualify for head of household status, the taxpayer must hold a “principle place of abode” with either (1) a qualifying child of the taxpayer or (2) any other dependent if the taxpayer is entitled to a deduction for that dependent. More information on who’s considered a “qualifying child” as well as the new tax credit for certain non-child dependents will be explored in depth in Part 4 – Children and Dependents.
Here’s how the brand new marginal tax rates stack up to the current state of affairs for 2018 inflation-adjusted rate schedules:

Click here for the full report.

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Divorce & Children

How Could
Divorce Affect
My Kids?

By Amy Desai, J.D.
Many years ago, the myth began to circulate that if parents are unhappy, the kids are unhappy, too. So divorce could help both parent and child. “What’s good for mom or dad is good for the children,” it was assumed. But we now have an enormous amount of research on divorce and children, all pointing to the same stubborn truth: Kids suffer when moms and dads split up. (And divorce doesn’t make mom and dad happier, either.)

The reasons behind the troubling statistics and the always-present emotional trauma are simple but profound. As licensed counselor and therapist Steven Earll writes:

Children (and adult children) have the attitude that their parents should be able to work through and solve any issue. Parents, who have given the children life, are perceived by the children as very competent people with supernatural abilities to meet the needs of the children. No problem should be too great for their parents to handle. For a child, divorce shatters this basic safety and belief concerning the parents’ abilities to care for them and to make decisions that truly consider their well-being.

Children have the strong belief that there is only one right family relationship, and that is Mom and Dad being together. Any other relationship configuration presents a conflict or betrayal of their basic understanding of life. In divorce, children [tend to] resent both the custodial and absent parent.”

Click here for the full article.

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6 Holiday Survival
Tips for
Divorced Parents

For divorced and separated families, the upcoming holidays can be filled with dread instead of joy. Follow these holiday survival tips to make things easier – for you as well as your children.

By Alan Plevy

For divorced and separated families, the upcoming holidays can be filled with dread instead of joy. Too often, children are caught in the stressful battle between separated parents, who haven’t realized they need to come up with new ways to make memories.

There are countless issues that lead to arguments during the season, including:
• The question of who will celebrate which holidays where. Are the children at Mom’s on Christmas Day? And at Dad’s on Christmas Eve?
• Deciding and handling travel arrangements during the children’s winter break. Who goes to which house, by what time and who gets them there? What if one parent wants to take the kids away on vacation?
• Parents buying elaborate gifts to one-up each other. “You get a brand new car.” “Here’s that dog you always wanted.” “Enjoy the drum set I sent over to your Mother’s house for you.”
• The annual “dissing of the other parent” tradition around the holiday meal table, often with Grandma or Grandpa joining in.

Click here for the full article.

How could loving your
children more than you
hate your ex affect your
custody process?

By David L. McBride, Esq.

Click here for the full article
“Love your children more than you hate your ex,” I tell every potential divorce and child custody client when I meet with them. While that phrase seems like a no-brainer on the surface, children can often become an afterthought during a contentious divorce. You and your ex-spouse are expending all your energy fighting over money, alimony, child support, who gets which assets, and who get which debts.

The issues that lead to divorce – money issues, infidelity, communication breakdown, or basic incompatibility are commonly cited as factors – often bleed over into the divorce itself and to the actual child-custody decision-making and proceedings. Unfortunately, the pain and anger that one spouse may have experienced because of the acts of the other can warp how the two soon-to-be-ex spouses view each other as co-parents.

Bad Parenting is Almost Never the Reason for Divorce

I frequently ask prospective clients to list the reasons why they (or their spouse) is seeking a divorce, and I rarely hear issues associated with the other spouse’s parenting style or involvement with the children as the cause of divorce. Obviously, there are situations where the child has been abused by one parent; in those situations, the fight to protect the child is entirely appropriate. However, the vast majority of child-custody cases during or after divorce are fought over one spouse saying that the other wasn’t involved enough.
Ironically, when divorcing spouses reach the phase of dealing with child custody, many of them “suddenly remember” that the other spouse is the worst parent in the world. Assuming, for argument’s sake, that the other parent is a “terrible parent,” I almost always ask how important the other parent’s involvement would be in the child’s life, and the “good parent” admits that ongoing involvement is important. Despite this admission, many of them still do everything possible to limit the other parent’s involvement with their children.

Past Conflict gets Dragged into the Child Custody Process

Emotional wounds the spouses inflicted upon each other during the marriage cause the pain, anger, and disdain to flare right back up during a custody case, and the children are pawns in this rehashing – or escalation – of old marital fights. Each party argues that they are “only trying to protect their children” from the other spouse, or that the other spouse’s “lack of involvement” with the children during the marriage should limit their interaction with the kids today. Invariably, all the sacrifices, hard-work, and hours spent with the children are instantly forgotten by the other spouse.

Bitter custody battles are often fought when pain and anger from the failed marriage bleed over into the decision-making process associated with custody. But, if the spouses are able to step back and look at the other spouse as a parent who loves their children – not the fire-breathing dragon that has taken over their memory – they remember that the other parent wasn’t around as much because they were busy working to support the family. They may also remember that the other spouse rushed from work each day to pick the kids up and help them with homework, or that one spouse may have given up their professional dreams and goals to be a parent.

Click here for the full article.

Divorce & Children

After divorce,

shared parenting is best for children’s health and development

As a young psychology intern in the late 1970s, my first patients were boys from divorced homes, suffering from what was then called “father hunger.” In those days, when parents split up, dads fell by the wayside. Fathers saw their children at the mothers’ discretion. This customary fallout from divorce reflected the belief that mothers are supremely important while fathers are expendable. We’ve come a long way since then.

Observing the problems that were being attributed to divorce, my colleagues and I began conducting studies in the late 1970s to learn how to help children cope better when their parents parted ways. The results of our research in Texas, supported by the National Institute for Mental Health, converged with studies in California, Virginia, and Arizona. The message from this work was clear: children and their fathers usually (though not always) wanted and needed more time together than they were getting. All signs pointed to the benefits for most families of having two parents involved in children’s lives who jointly maintained responsibility for their care. This is what is now called shared parenting.

Toward the end of the 20th century, divorce decrees offered children visits with their father every other weekend. The term visits captured the transformation of dad into something like an uncle, where the children are guests in his home. Dad became an entertainment director: The contacts were fun, but the texture and depth paled in comparison to a realistic parent-child relationship. At that time, only a handful of studies had peered into families in which divorced parents shared custody.

Click here for the full report

Is Divorce Bad for Children?
The breakup may be painful, but most kids adjust well over time

By Hal Arkowitz

Many of the 1.5 million children in the U.S. whose parents divorce every year feel as if their worlds are falling apart. Divorcing parents are usually very concerned about the welfare of their children during this troublesome process. Some parents are so worried that they remain in unhappy marriages, believing it will protect their offspring from the trauma of divorce.

Yet parents who split have reasons for hope. Researchers have found that only a relatively small percentage of children experience serious problems in the wake of divorce or, later, as adults. In this column, we discuss these findings as well as factors that may protect children from the potentially harmful effects of divorce.

Click here for the full report

Children of Divorce: Conflicts and Healing

“Children need their parents’ stable union.”1 The numerous psychological and spiritual struggles in the child of divorce (henceforth referred to as COD) are documented both in the literature and in the experiences of mental health professionals, parents, educators and clergy. Most CODs have neither a conscious awareness of the serious emotional pain they have sustained as a result of the fracturing of their parents’ marital union, nor of the long-term negative consequences of their wounds. Their psychological conflicts will be reviewed, as well as divorce myths, the causes of divorce, the resolution of divorce wounds through growth in self-knowledge, virtues, and grace, and lastly, the need for new programs for children of divorce within the Church.

Divorce Myths
Numerous myths about divorce interfere with couples addressing their personal and marital conflicts, most of which can be resolved in clinical experience. Dr. Howard Markman, marital researcher, author and professor at the University of Denver, has written, “We believe that most divorces, and most marital unhappiness, can be prevented.”2

These divorce myths include the ideas that: Divorce will not harm the children, my spouse or me; divorce is the only solution to my unhappiness; marital conflicts cannot be resolved; what is good for me is good for our children; I will be happier away from my spouse; I can still be an excellent parent even if we divorce; my spouse is the cause of all the marital stress; trust and love cannot be rediscovered; my family background is not related to my marital unhappiness and, for Catholics, I am entitled to an annulment.

Dr. Glenn, the late, distinguished family scholar from the University of Texas, has disproved some of these myths in his research. He wrote:

The proportion of emotionally troubled adults is around three times as great among those whose parents divorced as among those from intact families. No amount of success in adulthood can compensate for an unhappy childhood, or erase the memory of the pain and confusion of the divided world of the child of divorce.3

Click here for the full article

Here’s What The Divorce Rate Actually Means


We’ve been told for decades now that half of all marriages end in divorce — and that it’s only getting worse. But, as is the case with most “facts” that get repeated (and repeated and repeated), that’s not quite true. And it turns out that divorce rates are actually falling, not rising.

Yep, researchers have found that the rate of divorce in the U.S. actually peaked at about 40% around 1980 and has been declining ever since. And, according to data from the National Survey of Family Growth, the probability of a first marriage lasting at least a decade was 68% for women and 70% for men between 2006 and 2010. The probability that they would make it 20 years was 52% for women and 56% for men, so that percentage is closer to the frequently-cited “half,” but still not there.

Other estimates show that three-quarters of those married in the 1990s would make it at least 15 years (compared with just 65% of those married in the 1980s). And if that current trend continues, the vast majority (about two-thirds) of marriages will never divorce.

Click here for the full report

How Divorce Affects Children

How children are affected by divorce is a question of huge importance to your children and, of course, to you. Sadly, experts sometimes are confused about how divorce affects children, and they can offer parents conflicting advice. That’s why I emphasize what research tells us in The Truth about Children and Divorce. I especially focus on what parents can do to promote their children’s well-being in the face of the sometimes dramatic changes divorce introduces into children’s lives.

For concerned parents, perhaps the most important thing to know is that you can do much to promote your children’s resilience. In fact, how you parent and work with your children’s other parent basically is going to determine whether your children are resilient — or end up as a statistic. I tell you how to do this — practically and emotionally — in The Truth about Children and Divorce. (See Staying Together for Children, if you are debating whether or not to divorce.)

So how are children affected by divorce? The answer is not simple, which is one reason for much confusion.

First of all, divorce is almost always stressful for children. Most children do not want their parents to separate (unless the marriage was full of intense conflict and anger or other sources of misery not suitable for children). Divorce also can strain parent-child relationships, lead to lost contact with one parent, create economic hardships, and increase conflict between parents (including legal conflicts — for a way to avoid these see Emery’s Divorce Mediation Study). For all these reasons, most children have a hard time during the divorce transition. How long the transition lasts depends upon on how calm or how chaotic you and your ex make it. Parents who do a good job managing the stresses of divorce for children often are surprised by how quickly their kids make the adjustment.

Second, divorce clearly increases the risk that children will suffer from psychological and behavioral problems. Troubled children are particularly likely to develop problems with anger, disobedience, and rule violations. School achievement also can suffer. Other children become sad for prolonged periods of time. They may become depressed, anxious, or become perhaps overly responsible kids who end up caring for their parents instead of getting cared for by them.

Third — and this is very important, the great majority of children whose parents divorce do not develop these kinds of serious behavioral or emotional problems. Most children from divorced families are resilient, especially when their parents do a reasonably good job managing the stress of divorce. These children — most children from divorced families — feel and function pretty much like kids whose parents are married. They are not “children of divorce.” They are what we want all children to be: just kids.

Fourth — and this is also very important, many resilient children still report painful memories and ongoing worries about divorce, their relationships with their parents, and their parents’ relationship with each other. Lisa Laumann-Billings and I (2000) studied the pain reported by 99 college students whose parents had divorced at least 3 years previously. Below is a graph of the percentage who reported painful feelings on some of our carefully structured items. Keep in mind as you look at these dramatic findings, pain is not pathology. Grief is not a mental disorder. Even though many of these young people expressed longing about their parents’ divorce, these were resilient, well functioning college students. You may not be able to fully protect your children from the pain of divorce, and you probably shouldn’t try. Children are entitled to their feelings. Children need to be allowed to grieve. Still, as I tell you how in The Truth about Children and Divorce, you can promote your children’s resilience and do much to ease their pain.

Click here for the full report

How Could Divorce Affect My Kids?
By Amy Desai, J.D.

Children (and adult children) have the attitude that their parents should be able to work through and solve any issue. Parents, who have given the children life, are perceived by the children as very competent people with supernatural abilities to meet the needs of the children. No problem should be too great for their parents to handle. For a child, divorce shatters this basic safety and belief concerning the parents’ abilities to care for them and to make decisions that truly consider their well-being.

Children have the strong belief that there is only one right family relationship, and that is Mom and Dad being together. Any other relationship configuration presents a conflict or betrayal of their basic understanding of life. In divorce, children [tend to] resent both the custodial and absent parent.”

Research on Children and Divorce
While virtually every child suffers the lost relationship and lost security described above, for many, the emotional scars have additional, more visible consequences. More than 30 years of research continues to reveal the negative effects of divorce on children. Most of these measurable effects are calculated in increased risks. In other words, while divorce does not mean these effects will definitely occur in your child, it does greatly increase the risks. The odds are simply against your kids if you divorce.

Click here for the full report

The long-term consequences of parental divorce for children’s educational attainment
BY Fabrizio Bernardi, Jonas Radl

KEYWORDS: divorce, educational attainment, international comparison, social mobility, tracking
DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2014.30.61

Background: In this paper we study the long-term consequences of parental divorce in a comparative perspective. Special attention is paid to the heterogeneity of the consequences of divorce for children’s educational attainment by parental education.

Objective: The study attempts to establish whether the parental breakup penalty for tertiary education attainment varies by socioeconomic background, and whether it depends on the societal context.

Methods: Data are drawn from the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey, covering 14 countries. We estimate multi-level random-slope models for the completion of tertiary education.

Results: The results show that parental divorce is negatively associated with children’s tertiary education attainment. Across the 14 countries considered in this study, children of separated parents have a probability of achieving a university degree that is on average seven percentage points lower than that of children from intact families. The breakup penalty is stronger for children of highly educated parents, and is independent of the degree of diffusion of divorce. In countries with early selection into educational tracks, divorce appears to have more negative consequences for the children of poorly educated mothers.

Conclusions: For children in most countries, parental divorce is associated with a lower probability of attaining a university degree. The divorce penalty is larger for children with highly educated parents. This equalizing pattern is accentuated in countries with a comprehensive educational system.

Comments: Future research on the heterogeneous consequences of parental divorce should address the issue of self-selection into divorce, which might lead to an overestimation of the negative effect of divorce on students with highly educated parents. It should also further investigate the micro mechanisms underlying the divorce penalty.

Click here for the full report

Dealing With Divorce

Separation and divorce mean difficult transitions, but they’re also opportunities to learn that everything is always changing, in ways big and small. With love and support from the adults in their lives, children can emerge feeling stronger.

Click here for the full report

Marriage & Divorce
Articles and research.

Separation and divorce mean difficult transitions, but they’re also opportunities to learn that everything is always changing, in ways big and small. With love and support from the adults in their lives, children can emerge feeling stronger.

6 facts about American fathers

Fatherhood in America is changing in important and sometimes surprising ways. Today, fathers who live with their children are taking a more active role in caring for them and helping out around the house. And the ranks of stay-at-home and single fathers have grown significantly in recent decades. At the same time, more and more children are growing up without a father in the home.

The changing role of fathers has introduced new challenges, as dads juggle the competing demands of family and work. Here are some key findings about fathers from Pew Research Center.

1Dads see parenting as central to their identity. Dads are just as likely as moms to say that parenting is extremely important to their identity. Some 57% of fathers say this, compared with 58% of mothers. Most dads seem to appreciate the benefits of parenthood – 54% report that parenting is rewarding all of the time, as do 52% of moms. Meanwhile, 46% of fathers and 41% of mothers say they find parenting enjoyable all of the time.

2Dads are much more involved in child care than they were 50 years ago. In 2015, fathers reported spending, on average, seven hours a week on child care – almost triple the time they provided back in 1965. And fathers put in about nine hours a week on household chores in 2015, up from four hours in 1965. By comparison, mothers spent an average of about 15 hours a week on child care and 18 hours a week on housework in 2015.

While fathers are spending more time with their children, many feel they’re still not doing enough. Roughly half (48%) say they spend too little time with their kids. Only 25% of mothers say the same. Dads are also less positive about their own parenting than are moms. Just 39% of fathers say that they are doing a “very good job” raising their children, compared with 51% of mothers.

3It’s become less common for dads to be their family’s sole breadwinner. About a quarter of couples (27%) who live with children younger than 18 are in families where only the father works. This marks a dramatic change from 1970, when almost half of these couples (47%) were in families where only the dad worked. The share of couples living in dual-earner families has risen significantly, and now comprises the majority of two-parent families with children.

The public has mixed views about these changes. While only a small share (18%) of adults say women should return to their traditional roles in society, breadwinning is still more often seen as a father’s role than a mother’s. About four-in-ten (41%) say it is extremely important for a father to provide income for his children; just 25% say the same of mothers. And while about three-quarters of the public says having more women in the workplace has made it harder for parents to raise children, a majority (67%) says this has made it easier for families to live comfortably.

4Work-family balance is a challenge for many working fathers. Just like mothers, many of today’s fathers find it challenging to balance work and family life. About half of working dads (52%) say it is very or somewhat difficult to do so, a slightly smaller share than the 60% of working mothers who say the same. And about three-in-ten working dads (29%) say they “always feel rushed,” as do 37% of working mothers.

Working fathers are also about as likely as working mothers to say that they would prefer to be home with their children, but that they need to work because they need the income (48% of dads vs. 52% of moms). Working dads and moms are also equally likely to say that even though it takes them away from their families, they want to keep working (49% vs. 42%).

5Despite changing gender roles, many still perceive mothers as better equipped than fathers to care for children. When it comes to caring for a new baby, 53% of Americans say that, breast-feeding aside, mothers do a better job than fathers; only 1% of Americans say fathers do a better job than mothers. Another 45% say mothers and fathers do about equally well.

Among the majority of adults (59%) who say that children with two parents are better off when a parent stays home to tend to the family, 45% say it’s better if that parent is the mother, while just 2% say a child is better off if the father stays home. About half (53%) say it doesn’t matter which parent stays home.

6Seven-in-ten adults say it’s equally important for new babies to bond with their mother and their father. About one-fourth (27%) say it’s more important for new babies to bond with their moms, and 2% say it’s more important for new babies to bond with their fathers. Women are slightly more likely to say that it’s important for new babies to bond with both parents (74% vs. 68% of men).

Among those who took time off to care for a new baby in the past two years, fathers took a median of one week off from work for this reason, compared with a median of 11 weeks for mothers. One factor that might contribute to this gender difference: About half of adults (49%) say employers put more pressure on fathers to return to work quickly after the birth or adoption of a new child, while 18% say employers put more pressure on mothers. One-third say employers pressure mothers and fathers about equally.

Click here for the full report

Note: This is an update of a post originally published on June 12, 2014.

Americans see men as the financial providers,
even as women’s contributions grow

In about a third of married or cohabiting couples in the United States, women bring in half or more of the earnings, a significant increase from the past. But in most couples, men contribute more of the income, and this aligns with the fact that Americans place a higher value on a man’s role as financial provider.

Roughly seven-in-ten adults (71%) say it is very important for a man to be able to support a family financially to be a good husband or partner. By comparison, 32% say it’s very important for a woman to do the same to be a good wife or partner, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Men are especially likely to place a greater emphasis on their role as financial providers. While a nearly equal share of men and women say a man needs to be able to provide for his family to be a good husband or partner (72% and 71%, respectively), men are less likely than women to say the same about women. Just a quarter of men say this is very important for a woman to be a good wife or partner, compared with 39% of women.

However, the importance of being the financial provider ranks behind being caring and compassionate when it comes to being a good spouse or partner, in the public’s estimation. Overwhelming majorities say it is very important for men (86%) and women (90%) to have these qualities to be good spouses or partners.

The nationally representative survey of 4,971 adults was conducted Aug. 8-21, 2017, using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.

In roughly two-thirds of married or cohabiting couples, men earn more than women

As women in the U.S. have increased their labor force participation and earning power, their contributions to household incomes have grown. These trends, along with the fact that women with higher levels of education and income are more likely to marry, have boosted the economic status of married households. Today, married adults are much more likely to live in upper-income households than are non-married adults.

At the same time, income dynamics among couples have shifted. In 1980, only 13% of married women earned more than or about as much as their husbands. By 2000, the share had risen to 25%. Today, 31% of women who are married or cohabiting are contributing at least half of the couple’s total earnings (including 28% who earn more than their husband or partner and 3% who earn about the same amount). In 69% of married or cohabiting couples, the man earns more than the woman, though this is down from 87% of married couples in 1980.

The relative financial contributions of men and women differ significantly by the educational attainment of each partner. In about half (49%) of couples in which the husband and wife are both at least 25 years old and the woman has more education than her male partner, she also earns at least as much as he does. In 29% of couples where both people have the same level of education, the woman earns the same as or more than the man. That share falls to 20% in couples where the man has more education than his wife or partner.

Views about who should be providing for family diverge along socio-economic lines.

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As U.S. marriage rate hovers at 50%, education gap in marital status widens


Half of U.S. adults today are married, a share that has remained relatively stable in recent years but is down 9 percentage points over the past quarter century and dramatically different from the peak of 72% in 1960, according to newly released census data.

The decline in the share of married adults can be explained in part by the fact that Americans are marrying later in life these days. In 2016, the median age for a first marriage was 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men – roughly seven years more than the median ages in 1960 (20.3 for women and 22.8 for men).

But delayed marriage may not explain all of the drop-offs. The share of Americans who have never married has been rising steadily in recent decades. At the same time, more adults are living with a partner instead of marrying and raising children outside of marriage.

Marriage rates are also more closely linked to socio-economic status than ever before, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data that shows that the education gap in marital status has continued to widen.

In 2015, among adults ages 25 and older, 65% with a four-year college degree were married, compared with 55% of those with some college education and 50% among those with no education beyond high school. Twenty-five years earlier, the marriage rate was above 60% for each of these groups.

Marriage rates continue to vary widely by race and ethnicity. In 2015, 54% of white adults ages 18 and older were married. This is lower than the share of Asians who were married (61%) but significantly higher than the share of Hispanics (46%) or blacks (30%). The gap between whites and blacks has remained fairly consistent over time.

One-in-seven never-married adults say they don’t want to get married

Among adults who have never been married, 58% say they would like to get married someday and 27% are not sure if they want to get married. Still, 14% say they do not want to get married, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August among 4,971 U.S. adults.

Never-married adults who have not completed college are more likely than college graduates to say they don’t plan on marrying in the future. Among those ages 25 and older, 20% of never-married adults without a bachelor’s degree say they do not want to get married, compared with 11% among four-year college graduates.

Adults ages 50 and older who have never been married are about three times as likely to say they don’t want to get married as never-married adults younger than 50 (32% versus 11%). Overall, similar shares of never-married men and women say they do not want to get married someday.

For unmarried adults who have previously been married, tying the knot again holds less appeal. Only about a quarter (23%) of unmarried adults who have previously been married say they would like to marry again, 45% say they don’t want to get married again and an additional 30% say they aren’t sure.

Majority of never-married adults say they haven’t found the right person, but many also cite financial reasons

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Mapping the Marriage Market for Young Adults

The share of American adults who have never been married is at a record high (20%), and young adults are at the leading edge of this national trend. For those in the “marriage market,” location matters. Pew Research Center has compiled census data on the number of unmarried men and women ages 25 to 34 in many of the nation’s metropolitan areas. We’ve also sorted the data by employment status. Finding a spouse with a steady job is a high priority for 78% of never-married women who may want to get married in the future(and 46% of men), though the pool of employed young men has shrunk.

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Led by Baby Boomers, divorce rates climb for America’s 50+ population


At a time when divorce is becoming less common for younger adults, so-called “gray divorce” is on the rise: Among U.S. adults ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s.

In 2015, for every 1,000 married persons ages 50 and older, 10 divorced – up from five in 1990, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. Among those ages 65 and older, the divorce rate has roughly tripled since 1990, reaching six people per 1,000 married persons in 2015.

While the divorce rate for adults 50 and older has risen sharply over the past 25 years, it has remained relatively steady for this age group since 2008, when the Census Bureau began collecting divorce data yearly as part of its American Community Survey.

Still, the divorce rate for those younger than 50 is about twice as high as it is for adults 50 and older. And since 1990 the divorce rate has also climbed slightly for adults ages 40 to 49, though not to the extent of those 50 and older.

In 2015, 21 adults ages 40 to 49 divorced per 1,000 married persons in that age range – up slightly from 18 in 1990. By contrast, the divorce rate for adults ages 25 to 39 has fallen from 30 persons per 1,000 married persons in 1990 to 24 in 2015. This decline is attributed at least in part to younger generations putting off marriage until later ages. The median age at first marriage for men in 2016 was 29.5, and for women it was 27.4 – up from 26.1 and 23.9, respectively, in 1990. In addition, those who do end up marrying are more likely to be college-educated, and research shows that college-educated adults have a lower rate of divorce.

The climbing divorce rate for adults ages 50 and older is linked in part to the aging of the Baby Boomers, who now make up the bulk of this age group. (As of 2015, Baby Boomers ranged in age from 51 to 69.)

During their young adulthood, Baby Boomers had unprecedented levels of divorce. Their marital instability earlier in life is contributing to the rising divorce rate among adults ages 50 and older today, since remarriages tend to be less stable than first marriages. The divorce rate for adults ages 50 and older in remarriages is double the rate of those who have only been married once (16 vs. eight per 1,000 married persons, respectively). Among all adults 50 and older who divorced in 2015, 48% had been in their second or higher marriage.

The risk of divorce for adults ages 50 and older is also higher among those who have been married for a shorter time. For example, among adults 50 and older who had been married for less than 10 years, the divorce rate was 21 people per 1,000 married persons in 2015. By contrast, the divorce rate is 13 people per 1,000 married persons for adults ages 50 and older who had been married for 20 to 29 years. This is largely connected to remarriages being less stable than first marriages. In fact, most adults in this group who have been married less than 20 years were in their second or higher marriage.

While the rate of divorce is lower among adults ages 50 and older who have been in longer-term marriages, a significant share of gray divorces do occur among couples who have been married for 30 years or more. Among all adults 50 and older who divorced in the past year, about a third (34%) had been in their prior marriage for at least 30 years, including about one-in-ten (12%) who had been married for 40 years or more. Research indicates that many later-life divorcees have grown unsatisfied with their marriages over the years and are seeking opportunities to pursue their own interests and independence for the remaining years of their lives.

But divorce at this stage of life can also have some downsides. Gray divorcees tend to be less financially secure than married and widowed adults, particularly among women. And living alone at older ages can be detrimental to one’s financial comfort and, for men, their satisfaction with their social lives.

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Marriage & divorce

Marriage & divorce
Marriage and divorce are both common experiences. In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50. Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems. However, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.
Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology

Cooperation, communication and mediation

The end of a marriage typically unleashes a flood of emotions including anger, grief, anxiety and fear. Sometimes these feelings can rise up when you least expect them, catching you off guard. Such a response is normal, and over time the intensity of these feelings will subside. In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Researchers have found that people who are kind and compassionate to themselves have an easier time managing the day-to-day difficulties of divorce.2
Try not to think of the breakup as a battle. Divorce mediation is often a good alternative to courtroom proceedings. Trying to work things out yourself can be frustrating and self-defeating as the problems that contributed to your divorce are likely to re-emerge during divorce negotiations. Research shows that mediation can be beneficial for emotional satisfaction, spousal relationships and children’s needs.3
Sitting down and speaking with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may be the last thing you want to do, but cooperation and communication make divorce healthier for everyone involved. Talking things through with a psychologist may help you reach coordinated decisions with a minimum of conflict.
It can be difficult to remember important details when emotions are running high. Pick a time when you’re feeling calm to write down all the points you want to discuss. When you do sit down with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, use the list as your guide. Having a “script” to work from can take some of the emotion out of face-to-face communication. If in-person discussions are still too difficult, consider handling some of the details over email.

When kids are involved

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Research on what makes a marriage work shows that people in a good marriage have completed these psychological “tasks”

Separate emotionally from the family you grew up in; not to the point of estrangement, but enough so that your identity is separate from that of your parents and siblings. Build togetherness based on a shared intimacy and identity, while at the same time set boundaries to protect each partner’s autonomy. Establish a rich and pleasurable sexual relationship and protect it from the intrusions of the workplace and family obligations. For couples with children, embrace the daunting roles of parenthood and absorb the impact of a baby’s entrance into the marriage. Learn to continue the work of protecting the privacy of you and your spouse as a couple. Confront and master the inevitable crises of life. Maintain the strength of the marital bond in the face of adversity. The marriage should be a safe haven in which partners are able to express their differences, anger and conflict. Use humor and laughter to keep things in perspective and to avoid boredom and isolation. Nurture and comfort each other, satisfying each partner’s needs for dependency and offering continuing encouragement and support. Keep alive the early romantic, idealized images of falling in love, while facing the sober realities of the changes wrought by time.
Thanks to Judith S. Wallerstein, PhD, co-author of the book “The Good Marriage: How and Why Love Lasts.”
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The so-called “blended family” is no longer an aberration in American society: It’s a norm.

Planning for remarriage
A marriage that brings with it children from a previous marriage presents many challenges. Such families should consider three key issues as they plan for remarriage:
Financial and living arrangements. Adults should agree on where they will live and how they will share their money. Most often partners embarking on a second marriage report that moving into a new home, rather than one of the partner’s prior residences, is advantageous because the new environment becomes “their home.” Couples also should decide whether they want to keep their money separate or share it. Couples who have used the “one-pot” method generally reported higher family satisfaction than those who kept their money separate.
Resolving feelings and concerns about the previous marriage. Remarriage may resurrect old, unresolved anger and hurts from the previous marriage, for adults and children. For example, hearing that her parent is getting remarried, a child is forced to give up hope that the custodial parents will reconcile. Or a woman may exacerbate a stormy relationship with her ex-husband, after learning of his plans to remarry, because she feels hurt or angry.
Anticipating parenting changes and decisions. Couples should discuss the role the stepparent will play in raising their new spouse’s children, as well as changes in household rules that may have to be made. Even if the couple lived together before marriage, the children are likely to respond to the stepparent differently after remarriage because the stepparent has now assumed an official parental role.

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Who Gets More Out of Marriage, Women or Men?

She makes me tense. He argues with me. She appreciates me.
Husbands and wives rate each other, and their unions.

Who Gets More Out of Marriage, Women or Men?
She makes me tense. He argues with me. She appreciates me. Husbands and wives rate each other, and their unions.
The best marriages are win-win propositions, in which both spouses end up happier and healthier than they’d be if they were single.
In many long-married couples, however, husbands seem to be getting the better end of the deal. A study in the latest issue of Social Psychology Quarterly finds that married women over 50 rate the quality of their marriages lower than their husbands do.
That’s consistent with other research showing that older men tend to be more satisfied with their marriages than women. The study’s biggest contribution is comparing survey responses of husbands directly with those of their wives, helping “assess whether one spouse’s marital quality may influence the other’s over time,” said Miami University sociology professor Jennifer Roebuck Bulanda, who had no role in the study.
It turns out that, while a woman and a man can have significantly different views of the same marriage, they’re not completely insensitive to each others’ feelings.
“The way one spouse perceives the marriage impacts the way that the other spouse perceives the marriage,” said Jeffrey Stokes, a sociology professor at Illinois State University and the study’s author. “​​​It’s not like it happens through telepathy,” he said. “​​​​​​It probably happens consciously or unconsciously in behaviors,” such as showing affection, appreciation, and emotional support.…/who-gets-more-out-of-marriage-w…
By Ben Steverman

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NowUKnow: Why Millennials Refuse to Get Married

by Meg Murphy

Today an unprecedented portion of millennials will remain unmarried through age 40, a recent Urban Institute report predicted. The marriage rate might drop to 70 percent — a figure well below rates for boomers (91 percent), late boomers (87 percent) and Gen Xers (82 percent). And declines might be even sharper if marriage rates recover slowly, or not at all, from pre-recession levels, according to the report.

Traditional marriage has been on a downward trajectory for generations, but with this group it appears to be in free fall. According to a report released last month by the Pew Research Center, 25 percent of millennials are likely to never be married.

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Millennials, reject timely marriage at your own risk

IT’S NOT ENOUGH that they want to upend the modern workplace. Now the millennials are out to upend marriage as well. Wedding planners and finger-wagging moralists are beside themselves. But maybe the kids are on to something — as long as it doesn’t go too far.

The millennials are the much-maligned generation born in the 1980s through the early 2000s, raised on Harry Potter and 9/11, tech-savvy children of doting parents now entering a work world shaking from the Great Recession. They are, supposedly, too focused on self-actualization and not enough on making money for others. They expect the workplace to kowtow to them. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, but I understand critics blaming those same doting parents for continuing to provide them with a place to live and free health care coverage until they’re 26 (thanks, Obamacare!). With goodies like these, who needs to work?

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Young Americans Are Killing Marriage

Millennials are lagging behind on the traditional markers of adulthood.
By Ben Steverman

There’s no shortage of theories as to how and why today’s young people differ from their parents.

As marketing consultants never cease to point out, baby boomers and millennials appear to have starkly different attitudes about pretty much everything, from money and sports to breakfast and lunch.

New research tries to ground those observations in solid data. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University set out to compare 25- to 34-year-olds in 1980—baby boomers—with the same age group today. Researcher Lydia Anderson compared U.S. Census data from 1980 with the most recent American Community Survey 1 data in 2015.

The results reveal some stark differences in how young Americans are living today, compared with three or four decades ago.

In 1980, two-thirds of 25- to 34-year-olds were already married. One in eight had already been married and divorced. In 2015, just two in five millennials were married, and only 7 percent had been divorced.

Baby boomers’ eagerness to get married meant they were far more likely than today’s young people to live on their own. Anderson looked at the share of each generation living independently, either as heads of their own household or in married couples.

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National Center for Health Statistics

Data are for the U.S.

Divorcees far more likely to die from heart attacks, research finds

Laura Donnelly, health editor , in barcelona
28 AUGUST 2017 • 1:00PM
Divorce not only breaks your heart – but also increases the risk of dying from cardiac problems, a major study has found.

British research on almost 1 million patients found that divorced patients who suffered a heart attack were far less likely than married counterparts to survive.

Those with a spouse had far higher survival rates than those who were single, the study found. But those who were divorced did worst of all – with death rates 16 per cent higher than among those who remained married, and seven per cent above those of other singletons.

Cardiac experts said those with a loving partner were likely to be encouraged to look after themselves, keeping fit, and taking daily medication.

Those who had gone through divorce were not only alone, and likely to be lacking such help, but suffering the “double hit” of coping with the stress of their marriage breakdown, they said.

The findings, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, in Barcelona, come from a 13-year study of NHS patients, carried out by Aston Medical School in Birmingham.

Around 200,000 people a year in the UK suffer a heart attack and 70,000 die from them.

Dr Rahul Potluri, senior author and founder of the school’s ACALM study unit, said: “Single people do worse than married people and divorcees do worst of all.

“One of the questions we are asking is why do divorced patients do so much worse? And that’s where psycho-social factors come in – the acute stress of divorce in particular.”

Those who were married were more likely to be encouraged to “look after themselves” and to have someone to keep tabs on them, he said, checking on their diet, encouraging exercise and ensuring daily medication was taken.

“What happens with divorce is that someone who may have been compliant with their medication while they were married is suddenly under a lot of stress – as well as being on their own. They may find it difficult to look after themselves, they lose control of what’s going on – it’s a double hit,” he said.

Researchers said doctors should ask patients what help they had on hand, and try to ensure some support was offered to those in need.

Dr Potluri said: “Heart attacks are devastating events. It’s important that patients receive the necessary support to cope with them whether it’s from a spouse, friends, family or anyone they choose to involve in their care.

“Doctors need to treat patients in a holistic manner and encourage this as well as the use of support groups and rehabilitation courses.”

Researchers said doctors should also look out for divorcees and other single patients who had not suffered a heart attack, but were at high risk of suffering one.

“Our findings are even more relevant to patients with cardiovascular risk factors who are at particularly high risk in that they are silently living with conditions that increase their risk of a heart attack without experiencing any symptoms,” said Dr Potluri.

“It’s important that patients with these dangerous, but preventable, risk factors follow the lifestyle and medication advice of their doctors to limit this risk, and social support networks are vital in doing so.”

Patients who went through a divorce were at higher risk of dyng if they had a heart attack CREDIT: RICHARD SHARROCKS / ALAMY
Dr Paul Carter, lead author, said: “Marriage, and having a spouse at home, is likely to offer emotional and physical support on a number of levels ranging from encouraging patients to live healthier lifestyles, helping them to cope with the condition and helping them to comply to their medical treatments.

“Our findings suggest that marriage is one way that patients can receive support to successfully control their risk factors for heart disease, and ultimately survive with them.”

“The nature of a relationship is important and there is a lot of evidence that stress and stressful life events, such as divorce, are linked to heart disease,” added Dr Carter.

Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Divorce is commonly believed to be one the biggest causes of stress and we know that stress is bad for heart health. Although this study doesn’t prove a causal link, it shows the benefits of a strong support network on our long-term health and well-being.

“Whether you’re single, married, widowed or divorced, if you have any of the main risk factors for heart disease then it’s important to be able to call upon loved ones to help you to manage them. You can also speak to your GP or the BHF’s Heart Helpline for advice and support.”

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5 dangerous marriage trends in 2017
While marriage stays the same, it is also continually changing.

Kevin A. Thompson
10,897 views | 21 shares
At its heart, marriage is very similar across times and cultures. Men and women were designed for one another. How I relate to my wife Jenny likely doesn’t differ much compared to how couples have related throughout the centuries.

In other ways, marriage is continually changing. My grandparents never had to adjust to both spouses working, running kids to a different extra-curricular activity every day after school, navigating social media or dealing with an onslaught of messages and expectations from society.

Placing children before marriage to the detriment of both

The schedules of the average family with kids at home is overwhelming. Day after day, many couples sacrifice time together because of all the demands of their children’s schedules. While it could be argued that busy kids are better than idle kids (especially if they are teenagers), it can’t be argued that the schedules many families CHOOSE is bad for marriage. It’s a choice and it’s often a bad one. Children are important, but one of the best ways we can love them is by loving each other. Remember: when you put your children before your spouse, both lose. When you put your spouse before your children, both win. What are some ways you can choose your spouse over your children this year?

2. Denying that struggling in one of the three major roles of a spouse isn’t that significant.

A spouse is called to be three main things – friend, partner and lover. Too many husbands/wives ignore one of those areas and deceive themselves into thinking they make up for it in another area. This is a dangerous mistake. No matter how great of a friend a husband is, if they act more like a child rather than a partner, his wife will suffer. No matter how good of a partner a wife may be, if she fails to take seriously her role as lover, her husband will suffer. While it’s useful to build on strengths, each of these three roles must be mastered for a successful marriage. Of the three, which area could use the most work in your marriage?

3. Failing to create proper boundaries to protect themselves and their marriage

I’m not sure how many affairs I’ll get called about this year, but my guess is that it will be over 20. Good people will make bad decisions, in part, because they will have failed to create basic boundaries to protect themselves from temptation. If you don’t have several guardrails in your life – rules to live by in regards to the opposite sex, friends who care enough to ask the tough questions, and a true awareness of your ability to make horrible decisions – you are a sitting duck. What are some safe guards you need to add to your life in order to help you honor your marriage vows?


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4. Ignoring routine marriage maintenance

My car needs regular maintenance – the oil has to be changed, the tires have to be rotated, etc. Marriage has similar needs. Couples must continually find ways to reconnect, check-in, and make sure the key components are working properly. Too many couples go months without a real conversation, a nice date, a break from the routine, or making a true connection. We are fooling ourselves if we believe our marriages can thrive without taking time to work on the marriage. Read a book, go to a conference, or go have coffee without the kids. What is something you can do this week to improve your connection with your spouse?

Read7 meaningful touches your husband is waiting for
5. Waiting too long to get help

By the time the average couple reaches my office, they are in serious trouble. It’s not always the case. On occasion, someone calls and makes an appointment before they are in trouble. But in most instances, when a couple calls me, the tension is thick, a mistake has been made, and they don’t know where to turn. Be smarter. Every couple will likely need help both individually and together at various times throughout their marriage. Be quick to call a counselor if you go through a tough patch, have an issue you can’t make progress on, or just want to get a marital check-up. Is there something you need help with in your marriage?

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Kevin A. Thompson’s website. It has been republished here with permission.

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10 things men secretly love about their wives

Often husbands take advantage of their wives or don’t give them enough credit. But when it comes right down to it, husbands secretly love numerous things about their wives.

Wives just do things –

Wives don’t usually wait to do things. When they see something that needs to be done, it gets done. And more often than not, you don’t even know it was done unless she had asked you to do it, and you finally remembered after three or four weeks.

Wives remember things that we don’t –

Men have a tendency to forget things the moment they are told. Wives, on the other hand, have an incredible memory, which can be both bad and good. They can remember all the ridiculous things husbands have done. Fortunately, most wives look the other way or even outright forgive their husbands for some of these foolish things. In this sense, husbands love their wives for this trait.

Wives who have children are incredible mothers –

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