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New Study Reveals Unemployment a Major Factor in Divorce

A new study, conducted by a Harvard Professor Alexandra Killewald and published in the American Sociological Review, focuses on what may be one of the most substantial factors in failing marriages: the husband’s employment status.

The study analyzed 46 years of data on approximately 6,300 couples throughout the United States. Killewald found the divorce rate began rising quickly in the mid-1970s, a time at which women were starting to enter the working world in greater numbers.

Killewald used that information to hypothesize that job status could have something to do with employment. What she found was that a woman having a job did not necessarily preclude her from filing for divorce. In actuality, economic independence for women had no correlation with higher divorce.

Unemployment for men a significant factor

What did have a greater impact, especially in more recent years, was the employment status of the husband. Over the past several decades, husbands who are not full-time employees have a 3.3 percent chance of getting divorced in any given year, versus only 2.5 percent for those who work full time.

There could be any number of reasons for this. For one, men continue to be more likely to be the primary breadwinner in households. If money gets tight, it becomes harder to pay bills, which in turn leads to a greater potential for marital strife.

Of course, there are many other factors that have a clear correlation with rates of divorce, including educational level of each spouse, the disparity of educational level, income disparity and certain environmental factors.

If you would like to learn more about your options for seeking a divorce, consult a knowledgeable Minnesota family law attorney with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart.

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  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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