In a previous blog post, we reported that the rate of New Jersey divorces was one of the lowest in the country.
The U.S. Census study suggested that one of the reasons for that fact was that in New Jersey, couples tend to be older when they get married. That is certainly true. The median age of parties who get married in New Jersey is about 28 for women and 30 for men, whereas the national average is about 26 for women and 28 for men.
Other reasons suggested by the U.S. Census study were that couples in New Jersey: (1) have more education prior to marriage; (2) are in a better financial position at the time of the marriage; and (3) are less likely to be transplants from other parts of the country and therefore have a better support network.
The authors of a paper set to be published in the American Journal of Sociology, Jennifer Glass and Phillip Levchak, believe that there may be an additional reason for the low New Jersey divorce rate: religion.
There are more married couples in other states than in New Jersey who have conservative Protestant religious beliefs. For conservative Protestants, the belief that sexual activity should be restricted to a marital relationship may cause many to marry younger in life. The encouragement to have large families may prompt young couples to begin having children earlier in life as well, often before a college education is completed, which can have an adverse impact on a couple’s financial situation. These factors combined often don’t bode well for the long-term survival of the marriage.
Abstinence-only education and restricted access to birth control may lead to unplanned pregnancies, which in more conservative cultures may translate into “shotgun marriages,” since cohabitation is frowned upon. For obvious reasons, compelled marriages are more likely to fail.
Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters. If you want to talk, please call us at 973-855-3595 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.