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Second marriages have higher success rate

Atlanta readers might agree that sometimes it takes a second try to get something right. The perspective offered by time and experience can be invaluable teachers. Both allow an opportunity to review one’s first attempt, before repeating an endeavor with refined strategy and calmer news.

Such advice might be more commonly offered to activities like sports, first drafts of written reports, or even work activities. Yet a recent study finds that it also may be true in the case of marriage. According to researchers at a marriage think-tank, data suggests that second marriages have a lower rate of divorce than first marriages. In fact, the difference was notable: only 31 percent of second marriages in Georgia and across the country ended in divorce, compared to 45% for first-timers.

So what lessons did the second-timers learn and apply to their marriages? One possibility might be a more independent approach to assets, real property and finances. A prenuptial agreement might be one way that couples can ensure that they are staying together for emotional reasons, rather than economic codependence.

Yet even if couples don’t contractually formalize their property division plans in the event of divorce, many couples in their second marriage might approach their finances more independently, perhaps retaining individual back accounts and keeping assets such as cars, retirement accounts and other personal property solely in their own name. Although a new spouse might be listed as a beneficiary, that does not mean the he or she has to become a co-owner of assets or other property acquired before the second marriage.

Source:, "Couples in second marriages are 'less likely to get divorced' because they benefit from experience of the first," Fiona Macrae, April 28, 2013

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