A study that was published in Social Psychology and Personality Science examined the link between initial and long-term marital satisfaction with special focus on economically disadvantaged couples. People in Arizona who are considering divorce might gain from knowledge of the study, which indicates that initial satisfaction is in many cases indicative of long-term satisfaction. Researchers from two universities used surveys to measure levels of marital satisfaction for 431 couples who lived in low-income areas.

The couples, who all lived in Los Angeles County, were asked five times from 2009 to 2014 to answer eight questions that were designed to measure marital satisfaction. Among the questions were things like how much trust do you have for your partner and what is your level of satisfaction about how much time you spend with your partner. The researchers divided respondents into three groups based on their levels of initial satisfaction: high satisfaction, moderate satisfaction and low satisfaction.

About 60% of couples were in the high initial satisfaction group. Only 10% were categorized as low satisfaction soon after they were married. The researchers then tracked the levels of marital satisfaction for each group over time and found that satisfaction was generally stable for those who were initially highly or even moderately satisfied. Researchers found evidence of declining levels of satisfaction in the group that was less satisfied to begin with. Money may not be as important to a marriage as once thought.

In a case where a person or couple wants to end their marriage, an attorney might be able to help. An attorney who has experience handling divorce cases might assist with organizing the couple’s assets and negotiating the terms of property division. The lawyer may create a child custody plan or advocate for the client’s during child support, child custody or other divorce proceedings.