The secret to marital bliss
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The former wife of the actor Michael Douglas has been back in the family courts in America this week, trying again to persuade a New York Judge to hear her claim for half of the actor's earnings made from his 2010 film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
A recent US study has suggested that divorce is linked to age and education of the couple.
According to an economist who has devised a 'marriage calculator' which is claimed to work out the likelihood of divorce, the two key factors linked to whether a couple will split up are their age at marriage and their education.
Betsey Stevenson of the Wharton school at Pennsylvania University asserts that the lowest divorce rates are among people who marry later with more education. The highest are among those who marry young with less education. There is a sliding scale inbetween.
People are asked to feed into Stevenson's calculator their gender, the year and age at which they married and their educational background. It then works out the proportion of people with similar statistics who have divorced.
Stevenson argued that one reason for the age factor could be that people have a better idea of their preferences as they become older, so are more likely to find someone matched to them.
As for the education difference, she suggests that people with more education have more income and that can 'smooth a lot of the rough edges around a relationship'.
She designed the calculator to help people understand divorce rates better. Such research could also help social policymakers.
In England, there is only one ground for obtaining a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, namely the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
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