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Census data reveals states with fewest and most divorced adults

If you ask ten people the key to a long-lasting marriage, you will likely get ten different answers. But one answer you may not hear is one suggested by U.S. Census Bureau figures: the state you live in may affect the likelihood of divorce.

Actually, it is probably more accurate to say that the populations of certain states have characteristics that make the state in general more marriage- or divorce-friendly. New Jersey, for example, was the focus of a recent New York Times article reviewing the data. It seems that among all the states, New Jersey has the lowest percentage of residents - 9% to be exact -- age 18 or over who list their marital status as divorced. In contrast, between 12% and 13.5% of Colorado residents over the age of 18 list their status as divorced. Nevada ranks highest in percentage of divorced adults at 14.7%.

New Jersey ranks high in the demographic characteristics that favor marriage. People with a higher level of education, those who marry later in life, and those who have a certain degree of wealth tend to have marriages that last. Stated differently, lack of education, marrying young and marrying poor are risk factors for divorce.

Of course, when some of those highly-educated, older and comparatively wealthy people defy the statistics and get divorced, property division issues are often at the forefront of the proceedings. In a high asset divorce, the fair valuation and division of real estate, business assets, 401(k) plans and other assets are critical.

If a marriage is headed for the rocks, moving to New Jersey probably won't save it. But an experienced family law attorney can help a spouse get their fair share in the property division.

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

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