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Study: spouses who meet online have lower divorce rate

Recently, a study was published which regarded marriage, divorce and online dating. The study produced some pretty interesting results.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago and it was funded by eHarmony. The study was recently published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

In the study, the researchers looked at a Harris Poll that was taken regarding marriage. The poll had around 20,000 respondents. The respondents were all individuals who had gotten married in the time period spanning from 2005 to 2012.

The researchers looked at the answers the respondents gave to determine if there were any differences between the respondents who met their spouses online (35 percent of respondents) and those who did not (65 percent of respondents) when it came to marriage satisfaction levels and divorce rates.

Given the bad reputation society sometimes assigns to online dating, the results the study yielded are somewhat surprising. The study reportedly found that respondents that met their spouse online reported a higher marriage satisfaction level and had a lower divorce rate than the respondents who met their spouse offline.

There are many different factors that can lead to a couple being more likely or less likely to divorce. The study did not look at what specifically caused the difference in marital satisfaction and divorce rates between the respondents who met their spouse online and those who didn't. One wonders what specifically was behind this difference. It will be interesting to see if any studies are conducted in the future looking at this question and, if they are, what findings the studies yield.

Whatever a couple's reason for getting divorced, a divorce can be very impactful. A divorce can involve many complex issues (including property division, alimony, child custody and child support) and what happens in a divorce case can have significant effects on the involved parties. This, if an individual is considering getting a divorce, he or she may wish to consider consulting with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: TIME, "More Satisfaction, Less Divorce for People Who Meet Spouses Online," Maia Szalavitz, June 3, 2013

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