Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
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A husband's jobs status may affect the likelihood of divorce

For Georgia couples, the likelihood of divorce may be higher if the husband does not have a full-time job. These were the findings of a sociology professor at Harvard University who examined data on 6,309 couples from the years 1968 to 2013. Of those, 1,684 divorced or separated permanently.

Because the researcher was interested in whether women entering the workforce in large numbers was related in some way to the divorce rate, she separated couples who married after 1975 from those who married before. She found that in the earlier group, there was a 1.5 percent of divorce each year when women did half of the housework and a 1.1 percent chance when they did 75 percent. After 1975, household chores did not seem to affect the divorce rate. Instead, the employment status of the husband became significant. When the husband worked full time, the likelihood of divorce in any given year was 2.5 percent. If he was not fully employed, that likelihood rose to 3.3 percent.

The study seemed to indicate that women's economic independence, which is often blamed for a higher divorce rate, was not a factor. It did not look at the reasons for divorce or whether the lack of employment was voluntary, and there was insufficient data to draw conclusions about same-sex couples.

Whatever factors contribute to a divorce, it can be a difficult time. People may find themselves negotiating emotional issues concerning property division and child custody when their inability to work together is one reason for the divorce in the first place. However, they may find that negotiating an agreement with the help of their attorneys leads to a more satisfying solution than one imposed by a judge.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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