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Different ways of calculating the divorce rate

Some San Jose couples may have heard varying statistics about the risk of divorce. There are different ways of measuring divorce risk. For example, the crude annual divorce rate simply looks at the number for an entire population. It is about 3.6 per 1,000 people, and adjusted for age 15 and older, it goes up to 13 per 1,000. However, these numbers take the entire population into account, so it is not very revealing since it includes children and unmarried adults who are at no risk of divorce.

Another measure is the percent of adults in a population who have ever been divorced. About 21 percent of men and 22 percent of women have been divorced, but only 9 percent of men and 11 percent of women are divorced at present since some people remarry. The refined divorce rate looks at the annual divorce rate per 1,000 married women. Finally, there is the cohort measure rate. This is a complex projection that is made by looking at demographics. It is about 40 to 50 percent for people going into first marriages.

However, there are also factors that predict whether a particular couple might be more likely to divorce. For example, more education, a higher household income, and less disparity between ages are factors correlated to a lower divorce rate.

When divorce does occur, a couple has to work out a number of different issues, or a judge may make decisions about those issues. Depending on the couple's individual situation, these may include spousal support, child custody and visitation, child support and property division. If there are children, parents should make an effort to work toward conflict resolution and avoid an expensive, drawn out divorce since this is not in the best interests of the children.

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