Employment Status Leading Factor in Divorce

Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Guide Spouses Through DivorceA Harvard University study reveals that husbands’ lack of full-time employment is associated with a higher risk of divorce. According to the study conducted by a Harvard Professor of Sociology and published in the American Sociological Review, husbands without jobs increase their risk of divorce by 30 percent. The study’s author used the Panel Study of Dynamics data from 1968 to 2013 to assess the change over time of gendered determinants of divorce.

There are three perspectives on the link between work, money, and the risk of divorce: the economic independence perspective, the financial strain perspective, and the gendered institution perspective. The author examined each one’s potential connection to the data and found support only for the latter. The study findings conclude that the increased risk of divorce stems not necessarily from the lack of money, but rather more so from the violation of gendered expectations regarding employment. Specifically:

  • Economic Independence Perspective: The rationale is that if a husband or wife is not financially dependent upon the other, they will be more likely to exit an unhappy marriage.
  • Financial Strain Perspective: If both spouses are not making enough money to reduce the overall financial strain on the marriage, the union will more likely end in divorce.
  • Gendered Institution Perspective: Divorce is more likely to occur when spouses violate gendered norms of behavior in terms of employment and earnings. The author explains that this perspective is based on culture rather than economics.

Conclusions of the Study

While the study is largely inconclusive, support for the gendered institution perspective is strongest in finding that spouses married in 1975 or later have a greater risk of divorce when husbands are not employed full-time. While husbands’ lack of full-time employment is associated with marital instability, wives’ lack of full-time work is not; nor are wives’ share of household labor.

This study provides insight into some influences on marital stability, however numerous other factors may lead to divorce. In Maryland, there are several grounds for divorce under the two categories of absolute divorce and limited divorce. Those who are granted an absolute divorce may legally remarry and the court will engage in division of marital assets and property distribution. Grounds for this type of divorce include adultery, separation, and mutual consent. Those who are granted a limited divorce are granted a legal separation, therefore marital assets will not be divided. However, temporary alimony payments may be ordered. Grounds for this type of divorce include cruelty of treatment, desertion, and voluntary separation.

Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Guide Spouses Through Divorce

If you are considering a divorce, contact an experienced Towson divorce lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. Our experienced legal team can assist you with the complexities of Maryland divorce law. There are many things to consider including division of assets, child support, and alimony. We are experienced in handling all types of divorce, including high asset divorce. With offices in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we represent clients throughout the state. Contact us online or call us at 443-589-0150 to discuss your case. We help you sleep at night.


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