California couples who marry on Valentine’s Day might be more likely to get a divorce after several years than their peers who marry on different days according to a study from Australia. Researchers at the University of Melbourne examined one million couples to find out whether there was a correlation between days when people married and the divorce rate.
The most divorces were among couples who married on February 14. After five years, 11% had divorced, and after nine years, 21% had legally ended their relationship.
Researchers found that couples who chose clever dates, such as September 9, 1999, so that their marriage would be on 9/9/99, also did not fare as well as couples who chose unremarkable dates for their wedding. One reason for this might be because people who are too focused on their wedding do not prepare enough for the challenges of marriage.
Unfortunately, some of the issues that ended the marriage may also play a part in the divorce. Couples who disagreed on how to raise children or on how to spend their money must negotiate custody, visitation and property division or go to litigation where a judge will make a decision. One person might also be required to pay alimony to another. Since California is a community property state, shared assets are supposed to be divided equally. This might include retirement accounts, a home and savings accounts even if one spouse has earned significantly less than the other.
People who are considering divorce might want to consult an attorney about how property might be divided and what might happen with child custody and visitation. There is often room for couples to negotiate an agreement that allows for each person to keep certain assets instead of dividing all assets in half.