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Study Finds That Money May Not Have Huge Effect on Marriage and Divorce

A new study indicates that money matters and income may not be all that important when it comes to marriage and divorce.

The study, which was recently published in the American Sociological Review, contradicts a perception among many that financial problems can exacerbate difficulties in a marriage and lead to separation and divorce. It has long been assumed that a wife who doesn’t work full time and who is unable to support herself may be less willing to file for divorce. However, data shows that couples who were married after 1975 have been largely unaffected by income – at least when it comes to determining the likelihood of the couple eventually getting divorced.

Interestingly, the study does indicate that the gendered division of labor within the marriage can have a profound impact on the happiness of the couple and the possibility of a divorce. Alexandra Killewald, a Harvard University professor of sociology and one of the authors of the study, said that things such as employment status and division of housework matter far more than “the cash stuff.” The connection between division of labor and the stability of marriage may have something to do with the expectations of the spouses, as more and more modern couples are deviating from normative conceptions about husbands being the breadwinners and wives serving as homemakers.

Since researchers examined data collected between 1968 and 2013, the study focused on different-sex couples and does not account for more recent same-sex marriages.

One aspect of the study that does match previously held ideas about money and marriage is data showing that marriages in which the husband does not have full-time employment are more likely to end in divorce. This gives some credence to the theory that at least some gendered norms about work responsibilities still remain intact.

For further information, read the HuffingtonPost.com article, “Men without Full-Time Jobs Are More Likely to Divorce, Study Suggests.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already begun the divorce process, you need to talk to a qualified family law and divorce lawyer immediately. The skilled, knowledgeable family law and divorce attorneys at Graziano & Flynn, P.C. have decades of combined experience helping people to navigate the New Jersey divorce courts. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation.

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