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Are men or women more likely to initiate divorce?

Married men are more likely to cheat than be cheated on, research shows, but that doesn't mean men shouldn't recognize that their spouses can also stray. Earlier this year, Las Vegas media outlets reported that over half of all married women are expected to be unfaithful to their spouses at some point in their marriages.

If men are more likely to cheat (about 70 percent do, researchers say), who is more likely to initiate divorce proceedings? A new study shows that about 69 percent of divorces are initiated by the women in opposite-sex marriages. And once the process has been started, it opens up discussions, negotiations and sometimes litigation over issues such as child custody, property division and spousal support.

Though women launch most divorces, when it comes to dating relationships, the genders are evenly divided when it comes to breaking off the romance. "The breakups of nonmarital heterosexual relationships in the U.S. are quite gender-neutral and fairly egalitarian," the study's author said in a report.

Previous research (including studies going back to the 1940s) indicated that women were more likely to get a divorce attorney first because they are generally more sensitive to long-standing issues troubling a marriage. But if it's true that women are more in tune to these problems, why aren't they initiating dating break-ups as well as marriage break-ups?

The author says he assumed before the study that women would break up dating relationships as often as they initiate divorce, "but it turns out that women's role in initiating breakups is unique to heterosexual marriage."

No matter who commences the split, both parties will find that they have questions about the legal process and want guidance through this turbulent time. An experienced Clark County family law attorney answers your questions and helps you navigate an often complex and difficult divorce process.

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