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How a husband's job status affects divorce

A study that was published in 2016 examined more than 6,300 couples to identify likely causes of divorce. Based on the findings that spanned 46 years, couples in New Jersey and throughout the country may be more likely to divorce if the husband is not working full time.

The study found a spike in divorces starting in the mid-1970s as more women entered the workforce, but overall, divorce did not seem to correlate to more economic independence for women. Household chores also did not appear to be an issue. However, when the husband did not work full time, in any given year, there was a 3.3 percent chance that the couple would divorce. For couples in which the husband did work full time, the chance dropped to 2.5 percent.

The study did not explore the particular reasons for divorce, but the financial strain caused by the husband's underemployment could be a factor. Furthermore, despite women's roles in the workplace, there is still pressure on men to be the breadwinner.

When finances place a strain on a marriage, money may become an issue in the divorce as well. If one person is not working outside the home or earns much less than the other, the person who has a higher income might need to pay spousal support. The couple may need to negotiate other issues including property division and child custody. Even if the divorce is contentious, it might be possible to reach an agreement through mediation. If there are issues such as domestic violence, one parent may want to try get custody of the children and ensure that the other parent does not have access to or only has supervised visitation with the children. It may be necessary to bring documentation of any violence to the child custody hearing.

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