What Are Your Chances of Getting Divorced?

There isn’t a mathematical equation that allows you to calculate whether you’ll be divorced in the coming years. However, there are some factors that can increase your risk of getting a divorce. Here’s a look at 4 risk factors and what they mean.

Understanding Divorce Probability

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Couples who live together before getting married are more likely to file for divorce.

  • Possible reasons are that the couple:
    • May be hesitant about the relationship.
    • Don’t have a lot to gain from marriage.
    • May not stress the importance of marriage.
    • Might not work on the commitment to each other.
  • People who have lived with more than one partner are at a greater risk.
    • Women who have lived with multiple partners before their first marriage are 40% more likely to divorce.


  • Women in their first marriage who had some education after high school (but didn’t get a bachelor’s degree) have the highest rate for divorce compared to other education levels.
    • 23 divorces per 1,000 women
  • Women with no high school diploma = 14.4 divorces per 1,000 women
  • Women with college degrees = 14.2 divorces per 1,000 women
  • Intelligence may be a factor, as well. Probability of a divorce within 5 years:
    • IQ of 100 (below average) = 28%
    • IQ of 130 (above average) = 9%

Previous Marriages

If both people in the marriage have been previously married, the couple is 90% more likely to face divorce than if it had been the first marriage for both parties.

When comparing the marriage count, here are the divorce percentages:

  • 50% of first marriages
  • 67% of second marriages
  • 73% of third marriages

Why might this be the case?

  • People marry on the rebound.
  • Divorce is more likely the second or third time around because independent individuals are more protective of:
  • Their emotional well-being.
  • Their financial well-being.
  • Absence of common children in later marriages.
  • The family element isn’t as central.
  • Less need to preserve a family unit.
  • Children often serve as a stabilizing factor.

Financial Issues

  • It seems people with modest incomes have less stress and are less likely to divorce.
    • People with a $50,000 yearly income have a lower chance of getting divorced than those who make $25,000.
  • Couples who have a disagreement once a week about finances are 30% more likely to get divorced than couples who argue less about finances in a month.
  • Unequal earnings in the relationship can lead to unhappiness.
    • Sometimes, when women make more than their husbands, they might:
    • Feel angry about having to take care of the man.
    • Not feel as feminine.
  • As a result, respect can be lost.


These are only a handful of the reasons why couples get divorced. Many factors contribute to the decision, whether it’s based on social expectations, financial health, or any other source of stress or dissatisfaction.

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