Predicting Divorce

(I first saw a note about this article on Don Philbin’s ADRTOOLBOX site. 1 )

Like the break-ups themselves, divorce rates are a complicated subject to study.

Questions abound: Should we really want divorce rates to go down? Is it true that about half of American marriages end in splitsville? And why are so many baby boomers ending things all of a sudden?
— Drake Baer, Thrive Global. (2017, November 6). 5 factors that may predict divorce, according to psychology. Retrieved from

As a mediator helping people to resolve their differences in the process of obtaining a divorce (and a judge formerly presiding over that finality), I was struck by the quandary of “should we really want divorce rates to go down.” Unfortunately (and I think, oddly) the article does not address that question!

On the other hand, it does lay out the promised 5 factors. None are much of a surprise to family law practitioners but it is helpful to keep them in mind. They are instructive and of use perhaps most useful to any reader with children to educate on the dangers that may lurk ahead in their relationships.

Returning to the original question: I think “yes,” we should want the divorce rates to go down as marriage is still an essential institution in American society. Knowing these 5 dangers in advance is useful but I believe that we need more attention can be given to how to repair a marriage that is getting in trouble. I thought it not a good idea when judges lost the power to order a couple to counseling. Perhaps that should be revisited.

In the meanwhile, pre-divorce mediation can be a good tool to smooth the departure, if not avoid it. Mediators should not try to be marriage counselors but getting the discussion going is useful if productive conversation can be obtained.


  1.  5 Factors That May Predict Divorce – ADR Toolbox. (2017, November 19). Retrieved from