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Does joblessness lead to divorce?

Every Florida resident knows that fights and disagreements about money are one of the most common causes of divorce. Indeed, any kind of financial stress on a family could cause a marriage to crumble. Furthermore, when it comes to tradition gender roles in a marriage, unlike women who do not work, it appears that stay-at-home dads "house-husbands" face a higher risk of divorce.

A study released by Harvard reviewed the financial, family, employment, and other statistics for thousands of married couples. The study found that the employment status of the husband in the relationship resulted in a higher chance of getting divorced. Husbands with full-time jobs have a 2.5 percent chance of divorce, while husbands with part-time or no jobs have a 3.3 chance of divorce. These statistics are starkly different from those from 1975, when there was a higher chance that a couple would break up if the men and women split their household work 50-50.

Now, splitting household chores does not appear to be the current indicator of a divorce. These days the most important indicator appears to be the employment status of the man. According to the researcher in charge of the study, women have more freedom these days in the way they manage their marriages and relationships. Nevertheless, there appears to still exist the expectation of husbands being the family breadwinner. As for same-sex couples, they were not included in this study.

Men who are in the midst of Florida divorce proceedings -- especially men who have less money and/or less earning capacity when compared to their wives -- will have the ability to seek spousal support in their court proceedings. In this respect, divorce is handled quite equally in the eyes of the law. It's just that in the eyes of society, marriage and gender roles are still a long way from being equal no matter which side of the situation the person is on.

Source: Bloomberg, "Don’t Blame Divorce on Money. Ask: Did the Husband Have a Job?," Ben Steverman, July 27, 2016

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