Multiple studies have looked at different factors to identify which ones are more likely to lead to divorce. It may be possible to predict the likelihood for some couples in Pennsylvania based on indicators such as education, age at marriage and even how affectionate the couples were as newlyweds.
Not finishing high school appears to be one indicator that divorce is more likely as is marrying as teenagers. Couples are also more vulnerable to divorce if they marry after their mid-30s or have a large age gap. One 13-year study found that the most affectionate couples at marriage had a higher likelihood seven or more years later of being divorced, possibly because they are starting marriage with an unrealistic romantic ideal.
If the husband in a heterosexual marriage does not work full time, this increases the likelihood of divorce, and since it is unrelated to the wife's career prospects, it could be associated with the belief that a husband should be a breadwinner. Contempt for a partner is also an indicator that the marriage could be in trouble. Some studies have looked at how people tell stories of their marriages as oral history and found that they can predict the likelihood of divorce based on these stories. Finally, a pattern of pressure from one partner and withdrawal from the other is another divorce indicator.
A couple facing divorce may have a choice of negotiating an agreement on property division and child custody or going to court. In some cases, they might be able to resolve their differences through mediation. In contrast to litigation, which takes an adversarial approach to divorce, mediation focuses on cooperatively finding a solution that satisfies all parties. Mediation and negotiation may be quicker and less expensive than divorce, but they do require cooperation from both individuals to be a success.