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Likelihood of divorce may be affected by husband's employment

Minnesota couples who are in a first marriage might be less likely to get divorced than couples in the 1970s and 1980s. About one-third of first marriages end in divorce. Furthermore, only around 15 percent of marriages since 2000 ended in divorce in the first eight years. However, divorce is more likely in second and third marriages.

There has been some speculation that the increasing economic independence of women in the workforce or disputes over household chores might contribute to the higher divorce rate, but a study by a Harvard sociologist found that this was not the case. After analyzing data for more than 6,000 couples for the years 1968 to 2013, she identified the husband's employment status as the significant predictor for divorce. According to the data, if the husband worked part time or not at all, there was a 3.3 percent chance in any given year that the marriage would end in divorce. If he worked full time, the likelihood dropped to 2.5 percent.

The study did not analyze the reasons for the divorces or whether the unemployment was voluntary. Furthermore, there was not enough data on same-sex couples to analyze that group separately.

Whatever the reason for a divorce, it can be a difficult time, and people may need to make hard decisions in that time about child custody and property division. An attorney may be able to assist a person in setting aside emotions and focusing on financial stability and the best interests of any children involved. If one spouse has been earning significantly less, the other might be required to pay spousal support. However, this is not always permanent and may only last until that person has found a new job.

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