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Report Finds Charleston 3rd For Highest Divorce Rate

Reported by: Send eMail Kera Mashek
Web Producer: Kera Mashek
Reported: Nov. 5, 2013 10:23 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 6, 2013 9:30 AM EST

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WV Divorce Rate
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Compiling several studies, the Huffington Post is ranking Charleston third among "Divorce Capitals of the U.S."

Some of the most common factors that lead to divorce include family history, income levels and education. Looking at West Virginia, you can find both economic struggles and low rate of college educated adults.
At an average age of 25, newlyweds in the mountain state are also among the youngest in the country.

Despite the troubling report, counselors and couples say there's still reason to believe marriage can work.

Rick Beer is a newlywed, married less than a year. He says waiting for the "right one," having trust, and being will to stick it out through the tough times, are what makes him still believe marriage can work.

"Marriage is for life, or at least it should be anyway. I think more people need to take that to heart," Beer said.

Those foundations of love do help relationships succeed. But somewhere along the line, the reality is that a lot of marriages fail. And a new study finds the mountain state is among the most likely places for that to happen.

"Like many reports that address problems with West Virginia, this one stinks," David Clayman said.

David Clayman is a clinical psychologist who has counseled couples and families, and while he finds flaws with this report., Clayman admits there are significant issues a lot of couples face today that need to be addressed both within families and in communities at large.

"Poverty is the number one because people with lower education level tend to divorce more. People of lower education levels tend to marry earlier and have babies and divorce more. There's also now income disparity with women returning to the workforce and making as much as or more than their husbands," said Clayman.

West Virginia's pill problem could play a role in divorce too, since substance abuse often tears families apart. And while the numbers can be disputed, Clayman says all of this is definitely cause for concern and a call to action.

"West Virginia with its rural nature and how spread out we are and is struggling to become a cohesive state. Education is not valued as much as it should be. We have lost a lot of jobs. The coal mining industry is going down. All of those things are very scary, but what we have to do is bond as a community. The hardest thing in West Virginia is to maintain a positive attitude toward our state. We're very proud, but we're very negative. In order to make the state better toward not only marriage but for living, we have to have a new attitude," Clayman said.

There are couple other important notes to make. One: both marriage and divorce rates have gone down in the past decade. People are choosing to get married later in life., live with their significant other without tying the knot, or just stay single



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