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Marrying 'up' could increase divorce risk for men

Many people in Arizona maintain relationships with what could be termed "similarly matched" individuals. However, there are some men who seek to partner with more attractive spouses. An assessment of online dating data shows that both men and women have a tendency to seek out potential partners up to 25 percent more attractive than themselves. While it is possible for such relationships to be successful, there's research from multiple sources suggesting that a physical attractiveness discrepancy in a marriage tends to increase the risk of divorce.

The reason for a greater divorce risk with physically mismatched couples isn't necessarily a lack of commitment on the part of the more attractive spouse. Research suggests some marriages of this nature have a shorter duration because of jealousy on the part of the less attractive partner. However, one study suggests another contributing factor may be that women with less attractive significant others are more likely to flirt.

But the news isn't all gloom and doom for physically mismatched couples. One university researcher interviewed nearly 90 newlywed couples. He discovered that men in the group who had married more attractive spouses were generally "doing better overall" in their relationships. Not only were the husbands with the more physically appealing spouses happier, but they were also more positive and effective at helping their partners with their problems. Another study found that disparities in attractiveness mattered less if couples had a long friendship prior to getting romantically involved.

No matter what contributes to the end of a marriage, legal counsel could be a valuable source of assistance and advice for adults transitioning back to single life. If a prenuptial agreement exists, division of marital assets may be less contentious. Even if this type of premarital planning wasn't done, an attorney may be able to negotiate fair terms in the divorce agreement.

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