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Male unemployment increases likelihood of divorce

Despite the increased participation of married women in the Illinois workforce since the 1970s, social expectations about men being the breadwinner of the family appear to create marital stress. A sociology professor from Harvard University concluded that husbands had a greater chance of getting divorced if they lacked a full-time job.

The professor analyzed data that was collected over a 46-year period on approximately 6,300 married couples across the country. Unemployed husbands within any given year had a 3.3 percent chance of a divorce compared to employed husbands who experienced a divorce at a rate of 2.5 percent.

The persistent social pressure for men to be the main provider could be straining marriages because the employment status for women appeared to play no role in the decision to divorce. A lack of income from the husband might be triggering discord in marriages because it makes bills harder to pay on time, and missed payments could lower credit scores and impair opportunities to qualify for a mortgage.

A person who decides to an end a marriage will have many financial and legal issues to address. An attorney could aid an estranged spouse in the divorce process by preparing necessary documents for the court and providing advice about the division of property and other applicable issues. The client might gain insights into how the splitting of debts, selling of real estate and division of retirement accounts could impact taxes and income in the future. Armed with this knowledge and with the attorney's guidance, the client could embark on settlement negotiations.

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