Georgia couples may be interested in the results of a study presented to the American Sociological Association by researchers regarding how marriages and live-in relationships end. In opposite-sex relationships, the number of women who ask for divorce in comparison to the number of women who end a live-in relationship was substantially different.

The survey, called “How Couples Meet and Stay Together”, garnered information from 2,262 adults. They responded to questions about their relationships between the years 2009 and 2015. It revealed that, in those couples who were in a live-in relationship but were not married, women and men initiated the breakup at equal rates. For those who were married, however, only 31 percent of men precipitated the divorce while 69 percent of the women did so.

Other research showed a similar outcome. Some experts assumed that this had to do with women being more aware of the positives and negatives of a relationship. However, data from the study shows that other factors could be at play, such as the prevalence of perceived gender roles. In a live-in relationship, gender roles are not as pronounced; women do not take their partner’s names or necessarily handle all household duties or childcare. This could provide more of a basis for gender equality.

No matter who initiates the divorce action, it is wise to have a legal basis for the proceeding. A lawyer experienced in family law could help an individual file for divorce and represent their client in court should a divorce proceeding become contentious.