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Studies find stability in relationships begun online

While some Kansas residents may have heard that online dating is mostly for casual relationships, studies actually show that relationships that begin online may be more stable and long-lasting than those that do not. Two economics professors used modeling to predict how relationships starting online would progress compared to those that started offline and found that the ones starting online lasted longer.

This modeling is supported by research on actual couples. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that fewer than 6 percent of the couples in its research who met online split up compared to more than 7 percent of couples who met offline. Furthermore, the separation and divorce rate for those who married was only around 7 percent compared to a national divorce rate of 40 to 50 percent.

More than 33 percent of marriages are the result of couples meeting online. Experts speculate that one reason these relationships might be stronger is due to the algorithms that dating websites use to match people who are compatible. Another factor could be that when people sign up for online dating sites, they are ready to get married.

When a marriage does end in divorce, there are a number of things that must be addressed depending on how long the couple was together, how many assets they have accumulated and whether or not they have children. If the marriage was relatively brief and the divorce is amicable, the couple might be able to negotiate a settlement with the assistance of their respective lawyers fairly quickly. However, in other cases, there are other complications. For example, a couple with a young child in which one person was the stay-at-home parent may need to make a decision about child custody and alimony.

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