Study: Divorce likelier when couples spend more on wedding and ring

New research suggests that spending excessively on an engagement ring or wedding may increase a couple’s likelihood of divorcing.

For many people who are preparing to get married, the engagement ring and wedding are hugely important symbols. Not surprisingly, many couples in Woodland Park are reluctant to consider downsizing or sparing expenses when it comes to either thing. New research suggests that the cost of a couple’s engagement ring and wedding has an impact on how likely they are to stay married or pursue a separation – and, surprisingly, the relationship is not a positive one.

Sources of stress

According to the Chicago Tribune, researchers from Emory University recently explored the connection between pre-marital spending and marital longevity by studying 3,151 married couples. They found that couples that spent more on their engagement rings or weddings were more likely to divorce.

Divorce was 1.3 times more likely for couples whose engagement rings cost between $2,000 and $4,000, compared to couples with rings that cost between $500 and $2,000. Couples with weddings that cost over $20,000 were 1.6 times more likely to divorce than couples whose weddings cost between $5,000 and $10,000. Couples whose weddings cost less than $1,000 had the lowest divorce risk of all.

The link between these expenses and divorce is even more compelling when the relevant divorce rates are compared to average divorce rates. The New York Post shares the following statistics from the same study:

  • Next to the average couple, people with weddings that cost over $20,000 had a 46 percent greater chance of divorcing.
  • The risk of divorce was 26 percent above average for couples who spent between $10,000 and $20,000 on their weddings.
  • Spending $1,000 to $5,000 on a wedding reduced a couple’s divorce risk by 18 percent.
  • When weddings cost less than $1,000, couples were 53 percent less likely to get divorced.

The study’s researchers believe the financial stress of extravagant weddings and valuable engagement rings may place an early burden on the marriage, raising the risk that couples will divorce. Sadly, couples that do divorce may have to deal with significant debt while dividing their property.

Separating equitably

New Jersey follows equitable distribution property division laws; during divorce, property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, according to the New Jersey Courts website. To reach a fair division, a family law judge may consider various factors, from each person’s age and health to the occupation, income and future earning opportunities of each spouse.

Any debts accrued during the marriage are considered marital property and divided equitably, just like marital assets. Debts obtained prior to the marriage are considered separate property, which cannot be reassigned or divided between both spouses during a divorce. However, a judge may take a spouse’s separate assets or debts into account when deciding what represents a fair division of property.

For spouses who are dealing with debt during a divorce, portraying personal assets, debts and financial need accurately is essential. A divorce attorney can help a spouse do this and take other steps to improve the likelihood of a fair settlement. Anyone preparing for a divorce should consult with an attorney as soon as possible about working toward a favorable settlement.

Keywords: divorce, property, separation


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