A North Carolina husband with a wife who is significantly more attractive than he is might face a higher divorce risk. According to multiple studies, a disparity in attractiveness can be linked to a less successful marriage.

One study found that when women consider themselves more attractive than their partners, they are less likely to be committed to the relationship and more likely to flirt with others. Other research found that the jealousy of the less attractive partner often is what contributes to the end of the relationship.

However, this does not seem to stop people from seeking more attractive partners. While people tend to be of roughly equal attractiveness in most relationships, one study found that online daters often pursued prospects who were more attractive than they were. In another study, which involved undergraduates who rated the attractiveness of couples, researchers found that men who were less attractive than their wives tended to be happier overall. Research has also found that the disparity in looks does not appear to be an issue if the romantic relationship was preceded by a long friendship.

When a marriage does end, whether it’s because of friction over jealousy or for other reasons, couples usually have to agree how they will divide marital property. If there are children, they must also decide on custody issues. These can be difficult negotiations for two people who are already experiencing conflict. However, negotiating is less expensive, takes less time and is less stressful than litigation. It also leaves the couple in more control of the final agreement. A divorcing spouse who is having trouble getting through the negotiation process could turn to a lawyer for help.