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Study links male unemployment to greater likelihood of divorce

Many individual reasons could lead a couple in Texas to choose divorce, but a Harvard sociology professor has identified a husband's unemployment as a contributing factor. Despite shifts in gender roles over the generations, heterosexual men are still expected to be employed full time.

The professor commented on the divorce study in American Sociological Review and wrote that a husband faces a higher chance of getting divorced if he did not fulfill the stereotypical breadwinner role. To draw this conclusion, she analyzed data collected by another university's Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Information from 6,300 different-sex couples showed that a husband who loses a job or who works part time could experience marital instability more often than a fully employed husband.

The employment status of women did not appear to correlate with a higher rate of divorce. Working at a paying job or as a homemaker did not influence women's divorce rate.

When a person is thinking about divorce, the legal aspects of the action require careful consideration. Seeking the advice of an attorney is a typical step. An attorney could inform the person about legal standards for dividing assets, determining child custody and calculating spousal or child support. When a couple can come to terms on these issues, an attorney might only need to assist with the court paperwork. In disputed situations, an attorney could attempt to buffer the person from hostile confrontations and manage negotiations. This service might allow the two parties to focus on decisions about their individual futures instead of past arguments. When necessary, an attorney could also handle litigation. Documentation about a person's income and ability to be a parent could be presented in court. This effort might convince a judge to assign divorce terms in accordance with the person's wishes.

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