Studies point to finances, job status as leading divorce indicators

Research findings increasingly indicate that, for many couples, financial strain is the predominant catalyst for marital difficulties and, ultimately, divorce. That might not strike all that many people as surprising, although a number of other factors — lifestyle incompatibility, religious differences, disparate views regarding child rearing, education and related family issues — typically come up big as well in divorce-related studies and surveys.

A study under the auspices of Utah State University, for example, concludes that couples who voice disagreement over money matters once a week or more are, comparatively, more than three times more likely to divorce than couples who can more routinely put a lid on acrimonious exchanges.

And now new research just concluded at the University of Ohio and published in the American Journal of Sociology points to another divorce-indicator source that study authors say is a highly telling predictor of whether a couple will split or stay together: employment status.

The study findings reveal that a marked degree of gender disparity is at work where employment is concerned. The bottom line: Although women working in marriage has become commonplace and completely accepted, such is not the case for men.

In other words: In a comparison of working versus not-working women, there is little difference in rates at which a woman initiates a divorce. A man, conversely, is more likely to leave a marriage if he is unemployed.

That is certainly food for thought where job status and financial difficulties are at issue.

Source: USA TODAY, “Money quick tips: job loss and marriage,” Regina Lewis, Jan. 26, 2013

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