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Research: Do wedding costs increase the chances of divorce?

The wedding industry can be quite powerful. With brides and grooms being encouraged to spend big on their special day, some end up spending more than they can actually afford just to make sure their wedding is as memorable as possible. And while couples certainly have the right to make any decisions they want when it comes to how they want their wedding to go, recent research is suggesting a correlation between the amount spent on the wedding and the chance of divorce

For this study, an economics professor from Emory University surveyed 3,000 adults on how much their engagement rings and weddings cost.

In looking at the engagement ring portion, with the amount spent on rings ranging, according to the data, the men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on the ring were more likely to end up getting a divorce than those who spent between $500 and $2,000. This increase in divorce was also seen among women who were the recipient of a more expensive ring. 

It appears the amount spent on the wedding also followed the same pattern as the ring. According to the data, in cases where the wedding cost $20,000 or more, the women were 3.5 times more likely to end up getting a divorce than the women whose weddings cost between $5,000 and $10,000.

But just why is this?

While there is no definite answer, the authors of the research believe the higher incidences of divorce may have something to do with the financial stress placed on these couples to have the perfect day. In some cases, these couples may have not actually been able to afford such extravagant weddings, but felt the pressure to do so and went for it anyway. 

Of course, the blame cannot be placed solely on anyone. However, the researchers do say the wedding industry is partially responsible for really changing the standard for weddings over the past 50 years. Brides and grooms are now encouraged to spend more, both in terms of how much time they spend planning and how much money they spend on the wedding.

Regardless though of how much was spent on an engagement ring or a wedding; know that divorce affects couples of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Couples going through a divorce will also no doubt have questions about how to best protect their individual futures. A family law attorney will be able to provide more information.

Source: Huffington Post, "What The Cost Of Your Engagement Ring May Say About Your Marriage," Taryn Hillin, Oct. 3, 2014

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