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The link between unemployment and divorce

Maryland couples might be more likely to divorce if the husband does not work full time. According to a study conducted by a Harvard sociology professor, a wife's economic independence has little bearing on whether or not her marriage lasts. Household chores also do not appear to be an issue. However, in any given year, if a husband worked full time, the marriage had a 2.5 percent chance of ending in divorce. If the husband only worked part time, the likelihood rose to 3.3 percent.

The study, which appeared in the "American Sociological Review," dealt with more than 45 years of data on over 6,300 couples. Prior to 1975, the husband's employment status was not much of a factor. The mid-1970s was also when the divorce rate began to climb.

Although the study did not look at the reasons for the the increased divorce rate, it could be because there are still expectations that men should be breadwinners. Furthermore, when the husband does not work full time, this could create a financial strain that is damaging to the relationship.

This strain could mean that once a divorce is underway, there is a lot of animosity between the two spouses. Furthermore, if one person has not been working full time, the other spouse might be required to pay spousal support for a certain amount of time. People who are concerned about finances in a divorce might want to discuss the situation with an attorney and begin working out a strategy. For example, a divorced parent who gets custody might decide to keep the family home. However, an attorney may point out to the parent that the cost of upkeep could make the property financially unrealistic.

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