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Study says special wedding dates could mean divorce

People in Georgia who are planning a wedding might want to avoid choosing Valentine's Day as the date. University of Melbourne researchers report that this choice for a wedding day is followed by more divorces than any other day.

The researchers examined data for one million couples. Five years after a February 14 wedding, 11% of couples had split. By the nine-year mark, the percentage had risen to 21%.

The study found that other clever choices for the wedding day might also mean a divorce was in the future for those couples. For example, some couples chose to get married on September 9, 1999. This would give them a wedding day of 9/9/99, but as with Valentine's Day marriages, those marriages also had a lower likelihood of lasting. One explanation for this could be that the couples focus on the wedding day itself at the expense of the marriage.

Marriage does present many challenges even for couples who are roughly on the same page about finances, children, religion and lifelong goals. A lack of compatibility regarding these issues can lead to conflict and divorce. Unfortunately, couples will still have to deal with these issues during the divorce process, particularly if they have children. For example, even if one parent gets physical custody, the parents may still share legal custody. This means both parents will still have the right to make decisions about a child's education, religion and other major issues. Parents could also be co-parenting for years. If one person was irresponsible with money, the other person could get saddled with a portion of the debt. If the irresponsible partner is also lower-earning, there might even be a requirement to pay spousal support. Mediation might help couples reach a divorce agreement instead of going to litigation.

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