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Financial circumstances may have little bearing on divorce

It is a commonly held view that couples in Florida and around the country are more likely to divorce during times of economic hardship, but a 2016 study claims that a couple's material circumstances have little bearing on their chances of staying together. The study, which was written by a sociologist from Harvard University, was based on a study of 6,309 marriages between 1968 and 2013.

The researcher found that factors like the amount of money that couples earn and how much discrepancy there is between the incomes of spouses do not significantly impact divorce rates. The data also suggests that wives who are dependent on their husbands for financial support are no more likely to end their marriages than those who work. However, a link was found between divorce rates and the employment situations of husbands.

Only 2.5 percent of the husbands studied who held down full-time jobs got divorced each year, but that figure increased to 3.3 percent when husbands worked only part-time or stayed home. The study concluded that this was due to the emotional rather than financial consequences of unemployment. This echoes a previous study that found that criticism, contempt, defensiveness and emotional withdrawal are the primary drivers of divorce.

The future is unpredictable, and a sudden change in circumstances can stretch even the strongest of relationships to breaking point. Experienced family law attorneys may suggest drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to couples who wish to avoid the fear and anxiety that often undermine marriages during times of economic stress. Spouses who know where they stand may be less likely to react inappropriately to career setbacks, and prenuptial or postnuptial agreements could also prevent couples who do divorce from becoming embroiled in costly and public court battles.

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