Love alone cannot keep a couple together, Australian researchers say, as a couple's age, previous relationships and whether they smoke or not, are factors that influence whether their marriage will last or not.

The study by researchers from the Australian National University, entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It," tracked almost 2,500 couples - married or living together - from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who lasted compared to those who divorced or separated.

The results showed that a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife is twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who marry before they turn 25.

Children also had an impact on the longevity of a marriage or relationship. One-fifth of couples who had kids before marriage - either from a previous relationship or from the same relationship - got separated, compared to only nine percent of couples who didn't have kids before marriage.

The study also found that women who wanted children more than their partners were also more likely to get a divorce.

A couple's parents also play a role in their own relationship. The study showed about 16 percent of men and women whose parents were separated or divorced, also experienced separation themselves, compared to 10 percent of those whose parents didn't separate.

Partners on their second or third marriage were also 90 percent more likely to split, compared to couples who were both in their first marriage.

Money also plays a role in relationships. 16 percent of participants who indicated they were poor, or where the husband was unemployed, said they were separated, compared to nine percent of couples with healthy finances.

Couples where one partner smoked were also more likely to fail in their relationship.

The study found that the number and age of children born to a couple, the wife's employment status, and the number of years the couple had been employed, had no significant impact on a separation risk.

[via Reuters]