Family law professionals have known that people who come from families with divorced parents have a higher than average chance of being divorced themselves. New research is starting to show exactly why this happens with surprising results. 

Local news for South Carolina reported on a phenomenon where children of divorced parents are more likely to end up divorced themselves at some point in the future due to genetics rather than environmental factors. 

People who have lived with divorced family members will likely divorce as well

There are multiple theories as to why this happens. Some believe that growing up in a household with arguing parents and divorce may affect a person’s outlook on relationships and marriage as they grow up. Another more controversial and novel theory is that the tendency to divorce is genetic and a part of someone’s DNA, which can be inherited by children from parents like most other traits. This line of research will prove to be very important for Americans, as couples in the U.S. tend to marry relatively young and have about a fifty percent chance of divorcing at some time in the future. 

A joint effort between Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden looked at family lineages and divorce records. The researchers used registries to look at adopted people and find out whether the family histories of each individual looked similar to their biological parents or their adopted parents. This comparison can help make a clear distinction between people influenced by the environment they grew up in, versus genetic characteristics from their families. The initial results of people studied in Sweden showed that the person’s genetic lineage tended to be a more likely predictor of whether they would file for divorce than the conditions where they grew up. 

Marriage counselors and therapists may have to rethink how they handle their services in the future and change the industry knowing that some individuals may be predisposed to divorce and unlikely to reconcile with a spouse. Traditional counseling practices like emphasizing communication skills and commitment may do little to help these people. Individuals may also be able to use their history to make more informed decisions about whether to marry at all if their genetics may increase the likelihood of failure. However, professionals report that the overall divorce rate has actually been declining in recent years, meaning that other factors will need to be considered as well. 

Get professional assistance in the Greenville area

If you are dealing with an upcoming divorce, child support payments, alimony payments, child custody hearing, or related family law issues, legal help is available. Call a local attorney at:

The Hayes Law Firm Upstate Attorneys LLC

870 Cleveland St., Suite 2D-A, Greenville, SC 29601


[email protected]

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