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More college degrees may be behind falling Colorado divorce rate

A few months ago this blog divorce.shtml">commented on a decline in the national divorce rate that has been ongoing for about three decades. Now a recent analysis of health records and court filings by Colorado Public Radio confirms that Colorado's divorce rate is also falling, and college education may have a lot to do with it.

According to CPR's analysis, the divorce rate in Colorado is the lowest it has been since 2014. In 2013, the most recent year records were available, there were 21,483 divorces in Colorado. This number is higher than in previous years, but a rapid increase in population over the past decade means the rate has actually fallen. There were 4.08 divorces for every 1,000 Colorado residents in 2013, the lowest rate in 10 years.

One economics professor says the falling divorce rate can be linked to an increase in higher education in the state. Colorado ranks second in the U.S. in the number of bachelor's degrees per resident. People are also getting married later in life, which means couples are more likely to have college degrees when they tie the knot. And data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that people with bachelor's degrees earn, on average, 70 per cent more than those with only a high school diploma. Because finances are one of the main stressors in marriage, rising levels of education lead to a falling divorce rate.

Of course a falling divorce rate isn't much consolation if yours is one of the marriages that end in divorce. Many of the high-earning couples who are getting married today will end up getting divorced, despite the overall trend. A high asset divorce is more likely to have complex asset division issues, including issues of dividing valuable real estate, business assets, 401(k) plans and other property interests. Working with an attorney who has a sophisticated understanding of asset valuation and division issues can be a real advantage in these cases.

Source: Colorado Public Radio, "The divorce rate in Colorado is at its lowest level in a decade," Ben Markus, March 5, 2015

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