Maybe couples who get back together shouldn’t. A study done by Kansas State University analyzed data from 20 cyclical couples (couples who break up then make up) and 20 noncyclical couples (couples who stay together). Cyclical couples had a much harder time after reuniting. There was less communication, as well as lower satisfaction and commitment. They began marriage with more conflict and less feeling of closeness and were likelier to have a trial separation during their marriage. Considering in 2012 there are approximately 7 billion people in the world, there is very likely to be a Mr. or Ms “Righter”.
Among couples who divorce, pet custody cases are increasing. That’s according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. If there is a child involved in the divorce, judges tend to keep the pet with the child. Although pets are considered property in every state, many judges are viewing pets more like children. Because there is no law that recognizes visitation with an animal, pet-related decisions can be more agonizing than decisions about mortgages and credit card debt. Maine, New York, California and Illinois include pets in domestic violence restraining orders. Obviously, decisions about family pets are far from “pet-ty”.
Then there are couples who cohabitate. A 2011 poll conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that over the previous 5 years almost 50% of the 1,600 divorce lawyers surveyed had seen an increase in court battles between unmarried couples who had lived together. Thirty-nine percent of the divorce lawyers had seen an increase in the number of cohabitation agreements between live-in couples. These legally-binding contracts handle such issues as assets, as well as debts, co-ownership of a house, child custody and support obligations. A cohabitation agreement is the pre-nuptial agreement of the 21st century.
Perhaps the problem with relationships remains the battle of the sexes. According to a 2012 Pew Research Center study, 58% of 18-34-year-old men in 1997 said being successful in a high-paying career was very important compared to 56% of women. In 2010/2011 the percentage was 59% for men and 66% for women. However, women were likelier to say having a good marriage and being a good parent were also very important. In 2012 more women than men are getting college degrees and women make up almost 50% of the workforce. Women seem more willing to try to “leap tall buildings in a single bound”.