Pennsylvania couples might be fascinated by the results of a study on divorce that sheds light on how changing times and gender roles have played a part in divorce statistics. An analysis of 46 years of data shows that while a wife’s employment status is not a large factor in divorce, a husband’s is.

The Harvard professor who did the analysis found that divorce rates went up in the mid 1970s. An examination of married partners’ employment outside of the home revealed that contrary to what is sometimes believed, a woman’s having a job or gaining economic independence did not play a big role in divorce. What did matter though was the husband’s employment. Men who were not employed full time were more likely to get divorced than men who work full time.

A conclusion drawn from the research is that even as the number of women in the workforce increased, the expectation that the man be the primary breadwinner still continued. The study also considered housework and the willingness of each partner to do household chores, as well as the stigma of being divorced diminishing over the years.

The fact of times changing is often reflected in divorce negotiations when it comes to issues like alimony, child support and child custody. In the past, women usually were granted custody of children and men usually had to pay child support and sometimes alimony, depending on state laws. Today judges take into account the income of both spouses as well as many other factors when deciding on financial and child-related issues in a divorce. A couple could avoid having a judge decide matters for them by negotiating outside of the courtroom and attempting to reach an agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys.

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