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2013: The year of some very intriguing divorce-related findings

At this time of the year, many news outlets and other media publications publish retrospective pieces looking back at some of the more intriguing trends, stories or research to emerge over the last year. While these stories are typically very interesting, they often to seem confined to more familiar -- and perhaps even conservative -- areas like world news, technology, medical developments, sports or even entertainment.

Given this reality, it may perhaps be fun to take a brief look back at some of the more remarkable and unorthodox research findings from 2013 as they relate to the less explored topic of divorce.

Divorce and alcohol consumption: Researchers at the University of Buffalo set out to determine whether there was any correlation between divorce and the alcohol consumption patterns of spouses. Here, they tracked the marriages of 634 married couples through their first nine years of marriage and determined that a whopping 50 percent of the marriages ended in divorce when one spouse was drinking substantially more. Interestingly enough, however, they also found that only 30 percent of the marriages ended in divorce when the spouses consumed roughly the same amount of alcohol -- either light or heavy drinking.

Divorce and Facebook: Researchers at the University of Missouri set out to determine the effect that excessive use of the social media platform Facebook had on romantic relationships. Here, they surveyed 205 Facebook users ranging in age from 18 to 82 and 79 percent of whom reported being romantically involved with someone. They discovered that those who used Facebook excessively -- defined as checking it more than once an hour -- were more likely to experience everything from breakups to divorce. They attributed this phenomenon to jealousy on the part of the non-Facebook using partner and the likelihood of the Facebook-using partner reconnecting with old flames.

Divorce and commuting: Swedish researchers set out to determine what affect, if any, the grind of the daily commute had on the rate of divorce in that country. After tracking millions of people from 1995 to 2005, the researchers made the somewhat eye-opening discovery that 14 percent of marriages in which one or both spouses commuted a minimum of 45 minutes per day ended in divorce as compared with only 10 percent of marriages with non-commuting couples.

If you would like to learn more about divorce or divorce alternatives here in Minnesota, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced attorney who can outline your options and enforce your rights.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Research findings from 2013 offer insight into why couples split -- and what happens after," Taryn Hillin, Dec. 30, 2013

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