Study: Men without Full-Time Jobs Most Likely to Get Divorced

A recent Harvard University Department of Sociology study has revealed that men who do not have a full-time job may be more likely to get divorced than their peers.

The study suggests that despite what many people think, factors like a couple’s current earnings or a wife’s ability to support herself post-divorce do not really play a role in whether a couple will get divorced.

Researchers looked at data on divorcing couples between 1975 and 2011. What they found was that whether or not husbands were engaged in full-time work outside of the home was strongly linked with the couple’s risk of getting divorced. However, couples who got married before that time period were more likely to be affected by the amount of housework being done by the wife.

This appears to mean that what matters is not the cash itself, but rather the employment status and division of labor at home — and their symbolic value. Researchers posit that these gendered expectations of each spouse have a significant impact on the health of a relationship.

Predicting the risk of divorce

Researchers analyzed data collected in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, focusing on 6,300 couples in their first marriages. In marriages since 1975 in which the husband did not work full time outside of the home for any reason that was not his choice (including trouble finding a job or having lost a job), the average risk for divorce within the next year was 3.3 percent. That’s compared to just 2.5 percent for husbands who were employed full time.

Thus, while the idea of the “male breadwinner” might seem like it’s becoming an outdated cultural trope, it still appears to have an influence on the status of many relationships.

If you are considering a divorce and would like more information and guidance on your options, contact a skilled Long Island family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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