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Does money really influence marital satisfaction?

Kansas couples might be concerned with the impact money has on marital satisfaction, particularly in light of the belief that money issues are often linked to dissatisfaction in marriage. They might be surprised to know, however, that a study published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science found that socioeconomic factors did not affect happiness and satisfaction in marriage as previously believed.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Texas and University of Utah, focused on 431 couples in Los Angeles districts with low socioeconomic standing. The study followed the couples from newlyweds into five years of their relationship and asked them to respond to a survey to determine happiness and satisfaction at different points in their marriage. As newlyweds, 60% of the couples reported high levels of marital satisfaction, 30% reported moderate levels and 10% reported low levels. The couples were surveyed four more times with interesting findings.

The study found that couples who originally reported high or moderate levels of happiness continued to feel similarly during the next five years, even when facing socioeconomic issues. The couples who originally had low levels of happiness in marriage showed a decline in satisfaction over time. Wives in those situations also showed a significant decline when there were socioeconomic issues. The husbands in those situations, however, experienced some decline in happiness but then their happiness seemed to increase over three to five years. While a stable feeling of happiness can result in a long marriage, the decline experienced by others might mean the couple is at higher risk for dissolution of the marriage.

Couples who are not satisfied with their marriage might decide to seek a divorce. In those cases, the assistance of a lawyer may be beneficial. A lawyer might help their client gather documents, create a plan for the process and after divorce, and represent their client in negotiations and court appearances.

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