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Divorce rates are lower in Massachusetts and the northeast

Does geography play a role in whether a marriage fails or succeeds? Massachusetts residents may be interested to know that the rate of divorce in many northeastern states was lower than the national average in 2011. A study of the population of these states shows there are measurable factors that may help explain why people in these areas have a seemingly higher rate of marital success.

Among the most prominent predictors are the age of the partners when they marry, their level of education and the amount of money they earn. According to one public policy professor, residents in northeastern states wait until they are older before they marry. Also, residents of these states tend to be more highly educated. For these reasons, according to the professor, these states have lower divorce rates, with New Jersey taking the top, or lowest spot.

Massachusetts, whose population has very similar traits to that of New Jersey, has a rate of six to seven divorces per 1,000 residents. A few other states from the northeast had the same rate. These statistics were from a study of other data. Of course none of these statistics are indicative of the likelihood for any particular couple to decide to divorce or stay married. No study can account for the numerous particular circumstances that lead to marital trouble.

Regardless of education and financial stability, internal and external factors can try even the sturdiest of marriages. Therefore, people considering a divorce need to be prepared for the emotional and financial struggles that divorce can bring. Issues such as property division, alimony and child support can be difficult to deal with in the midst of such an emotionally charged time This is why the support and counsel of an experienced family law attorney is a true necessity in times of transition.

Source: The New York Times, "Want Your Union to Last? Marry in New Jersey," Sam Roberts, Oct. 12, 2012

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