While some studies estimate that half of all American marriages end in divorce, the reality is that only about one-third of all married couples ultimately divorce. The nature of the factors that impact the divorce rate, however, have not always been so clear. According to a study published in the American Sociological Review, the best predictors of divorce have changed significantly over time. Currently, it appears that the best predictor of whether a couple will divorce is whether the husband is working full-time.
The study involved 6,309 married couples between 1968 and 2013; 1,684 of these couples separated or divorced during the same time period. In marriages that occurred prior to 1975, it appeared that the percentage of the household work that a wife performed at home corresponded to the rate of divorce; if the wife did more housework, divorce was less likely. In marriages that occurred after 1975, however, whether a wife performed household chores was much less significant. In these marriages, the husband’s employment status and ability to be the breadwinner had a greater impact on the likelihood of divorce. If the husband was employed full-time, the probability of divorce would be 2.5%, but if the husband was not employed full-time, the probability of divorce increased to 3.3%.
This study does have its limitations. There were not enough same-sex couples in the study to perform a separate analysis for that group. The study also did not address the reasons behind the husband’s unemployment or underemployment. Other data shows that the main reasons for husbands not working full-time are involuntary in nature. Although some marriages can weather the storm of a husband’s unemployment or underemployment, other marriages evidently cannot.
Divorce and family law cases can be extremely difficult, time-consuming, and stressful. No matter how many or how complex the issues are in your case, we can help. The Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates have handled countless issues that commonly arise in family law cases, as well as less common issues that arise from time to time. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced California divorce attorney at our office if you have any questions about divorce or any other type of family law case in the state of California.