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Underemployed husbands are more likely to get divorced

In the early 1970s, when women started entering the workforce in greater numbers, there was an increase in divorces throughout Connecticut and the rest of the U.S. This was partly due to the stereotypical roles of women as housekeepers. A recent study demonstrated how that has changed.

Published in the "American Sociological Review," the study examined 46 years' worth of data from 6,300 married couples. The researcher, a Harvard sociology professor, looked at how the couples' employment statuses impacted their relationships over time. While she found an increase in divorces in the 1970s as women entered the workforce, the importance of housekeeping decreased by 1975 as the idea of women working became more accepted.

In more modern times, the researcher found that the work statuses of the men were correlated to their divorce risk. Husbands who do not have full-time jobs have a 3.3 percent chance of divorcing in a year while husbands who are employed full-time have a 2.5 percent chance of divorcing. The researcher believes that many women still expect men to fulfill the stereotypical roles as breadwinners. When husbands are unemployed or underemployed, she believes it places a significant strain on their marriages.

Even when spouses recognize that their marriages have reached an end, divorces are often still filled with heightened emotions and conflict. A person who is considering divorcing might want to consult with a family law attorney. Lawyers may help clients view their divorces from a more logical standpoint instead of being swallowed up by the emotional conflicts. Attorneys may help their clients to negotiate agreements about all of the disputed issues, including property division, child support and alimony. If an agreement cannot be reached, the lawyers may litigate for their clients through divorce trials.

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