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Divorce rates and relationships that begin online

Illinois couples who meet online may have more stable relationships that people who meet offline. Studies have shown that despite perceptions of dating sites as fostering casual relationships, people who meet online might be less likely to break up or get a divorce.

Two economics professors from the University of Vienna and the University of Essex used modeling to predict how relationships that grew from meeting online would differ from those that arose from meeting offline. The model predicted that the marriages of people who met online would be longer lasting.

These modeling results are supported by other research. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published research that showed longer marriages and increased marital satisfaction among people who met online. It also found that fewer than 6 percent of couples in its study who met online split up compared to more than 7 percent of those who met offline. Furthermore, only 7 percent who married later got divorced or separated compared to a much higher divorce rate in the general population.

Overall, each month, around 30 million unique users go to dating sites. The stabler relationships that arise from these sites could be due to their questionnaires and algorithms that match users based on compatibility. They could also be because users on dating sites are more likely to be ready for marriage.

Unfortunately, some of these marriages will end in divorce as well. When this happens, couples may face difficult negotiations over issues such as child custody and property division. This can be an emotional time, and it is important that people do not try to rush through the process or cause unnecessary delays because of those emotions. People may want to discuss their goals with an attorney before heading into settlement negotiations.

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