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Valentine's Day weddings linked to higher divorce rates

When couples in Virginia think about setting the date for their weddings, divorce may be the last thing on their minds. However, according to research conducted at the University of Melbourne, there is a correlation between the choice of wedding date made by a couple and their later probability of divorce. Couples may select a date for a wide range of reasons. In some cases, they choose one with personal significance; at other times, they choose one that is more convenient for family travel or venue rental. However, people who choose holidays and other special dates may be more likely to face problems down the road.

Researchers identified couples who marry on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, as those most likely to divorce. In analyzing data from 1 million couples, researchers found that 11 percent of the people who married on Valentine's Day had chosen to divorce within 5 years. Within 9 years, 21 percent of the Valentine's Day couples had ended their marriages. Feb. 14 was not the only day linked with a higher likelihood of a split: Couples who selected "special number days" like Sept. 9, 1999, were also more likely to later divorce.

There are a number of reasons that could contribute to these results. Some couples who select these types of dates may be more focused on a dream wedding than the marriage to come. However, even solid relationships can develop cracks and serious incompatibilities, especially as conflicts around parenting and finances become more apparent.

When people think about divorce, they may have a lot of confusion about how the process might affect them. A family law attorney may work with an unhappy spouse to advocate for their rights and needs in the divorce on a range of issues, including property division, child custody or spousal support.

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