Is It Harder for Children of Divorced Couples to Have Successful Marriages?

“Intergenerational transmission of divorce.” This is the term used by those who study the seeming tendency toward divorce of those whose own parents divorced.

Society has long debated issues surrounding children of “broken homes.” One area focuses on whether children of divorced parents are themselves more likely to divorce. Indeed, numerically speaking, this does appear to be the case. CNN has reported that “[t]he risk of divorce is 50 percent higher when one spouse comes from a divorced home, and 200 percent higher risk when both of them do.”

There are a number of theories as to why divorce rates are higher for children of divorced parents:

  • a lack of proper role modeling for a successful marriage;
  • a more accepting attitude toward divorce; and
  • reduced communication, conflict management, and other relevant skills.

In addition, children of divorced parents are more likely to be of lower socioeconomic status, a factor associated with higher divorce rates.

Straight numbers aside, research also focuses on whether it is harder for children of divorced parents to have successful marriages.

One expert explains that couples “from divorced homes were more likely . . . to consciously evaluate what their parents had (or had not) taught them about marriage” and to adopt new practices “as they actively constructed their own marital relationship.” In this way, couples are able “to learn from their parents’ ‘mistakes.’”

Another expert reports that there “are real strategies for improving relationships and developing committed long-lasting and happy marriages, but it doesn’t just happen.” Instead, the couple needs to work on conflict management and strengthen their commitment to marriage.

Many other factors are also associated with higher divorce rates in the U.S., such as less education, lower age at the time of marriage, and even the husband’s job status.

New York and New Jersey divorce attorney Daniel Clement has been guiding clients through divorce and family disputes for over 30 years.

He understands your concerns and fears. He wants to help you overcome the uncertainty and empower you to make informed decisions that achieve your goals.

If you are considering divorce, please download the free e-book The Divorce Process: What to Expect to learn more about the process.

We also welcome you to contact us or call (212) 683-9551 to arrange for a consultation. We are here to assist you.

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