While neither economic independence for women nor sharing household chores more equitably seem to be major contributors to divorce, a study has found that unemployment for men may be a common cause. In Texas and throughout the country, marriages in which the husband does not work outside the home may be more likely to end up among the 50 percent of marriages that end in divorce.
Household chores did not seem to explain why the divorce rate has gone up from 30 percent in the 1960s. For example, for couples married before 1975, women who shouldered more of the household work were less likely to get divorced, but for couples married after that time, a woman doing less housework did not correlate to a higher divorce rate. A couple’s financial situation also did not seem to affect whether or not they divorced. It was theorized that the reason unemployment among men is a significant factor in the likelihood of a divorce is because the unemployment among men is more likely to be involuntary.
The researcher who conducted the study, a sociology professor at Harvard, said further study of other factors is needed. For instance, another study might look at couples in which the woman chooses to be the breadwinner.
The end of a marriage is usually a difficult time, and if one person in the couple is unemployed, they might also be concerned about how they will support themselves. In some cases, the other spouse may be required to pay support for a time. An attorney may be able to assist in crafting a strategy that works for a person’s unique situation. For example, Texas is a community property state, but this does not necessarily mean dividing all property 50/50. A person might discuss their ideal outcome with their attorney and plan how they might reach it.