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Lombard family law attorneyMarried couples get divorced for an endless variety of reasons. For some, infidelity may an issue while financial stresses drive others apart. Of course, there are often many factors that play into a couple’s decision to end their marriage, and researchers are always trying to identify trends that could help married couples recognize possible red flags. According to several recent studies, however, a first-born daughter could be one of the potential warning signs.

Australian Team Studies Dutch Families

Dr. Jan Kabatek and Dr. David Rebar, faculty members at the University of Melbourne, conducted one such study. The pair examined more than two million marriages in the Netherlands over the course of 10 years. They chose the Netherlands because Dutch marriage and family records are very comprehensive and provide exact dates of marriages, divorces, and births. Other, similar studies have been based on participant’s responses to surveys—which rely on memory and recollection as opposed to objective data.

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Posted on in Divorce Rate

lombard family law attorneysWinter holidays often bring to mind thoughts of families around massive turkey dinners and children excitedly opening Christmas presents. Summer months involve similar—though usually outdoor—family gatherings and vacations. Children are on a break from school and parents can grill dinner outdoors while getting some sun. Although we generally think of holidays as a fun-filled vacation from stress, a new study from the University of Washington suggests otherwise. According to the study, rates of divorce filing significantly increase in the time period after the holidays.

Divorce filings seem to peak in March, after the winter holidays, and in August, at the end of summer vacation. Sociology professor Julie Brines and doctoral student Brian Serafini found evidence of a biannual pattern in divorce in Washington State between 2001 and 2015. Their results suggest that divorce rates rise 40% from December to March. 

Why Is Divorce Seasonal?

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Lombard family law attorneyFor years, marriage and relationship experts have presented evidence suggesting that financial struggles are often a key factor when a couple decides to get divorced. In many ways, the concept makes sense. Money management is a core principle of any relationship and spouses dealing with economic stress and anxiety will often reach a breaking point quickly. A new study, however, seems to indicate that there is more to the story than just money, as its results showed that a husband’s ability to find full-time work directly impacts the couple’s likelihood of divorce.

Behaviors Over Money

Alexandra Killewald, a sociology professor at Harvard University, recently authored a study that was published in the American Sociological Review. She reviewed more than four decades of information related to over 6,300 heterosexual couples in compiling her research. The data did not include husbands who voluntarily choose to fulfill the role of a stay-at-home parent.

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divorce rate, doctors, Kane County Family LawyerThere are countless factors that can drive a married couple apart, eventually leading to divorce. Internal pressures, of course, such as children, finances, and spousal responsibilities can create disagreements and contentiousness between partners. In addition, many couples must also deal with difficulties created outside of the relationship, including career requirements, demanding work schedules, and stresses related to non-marital related activities. It is easy to assume that individuals with rigorous work schedules, wrought with difficult decisions, may be more likely to allow such challenges to greatly impact their marriage and experience a higher divorce rate than others. A new study has found, however, that for medical professionals, at least, that assumption would be incorrect.

Anupam Jena, MD, PhD, and Dan Ly, MD, both doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, led a team of researchers as they analyzed data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The team looked at the divorce rate among various occupation groups including physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, health-care executives, and attorneys. "It’s been speculated that doctors are more likely to be divorced than other professionals because of the long hours they keep and the stress associated with the job," Dr. Jena said, "but no large-scale study has every investigated whether that is true."

The study’s sample included responses from more than 6 million people, of which about 250,000 were health professionals. Jena’s team found that outside of the health-care industry, the divorce rate was about 35 percent. Physicians, however, experience a divorce rate about one-third lower, around 24 percent. Only pharmacists showed a lower rate at 23 percent. Lawyers and nurses were a little more likely to get divorced, with rates of 27 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

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Divorce Rate, Dissolution of MarriageMuch like any subject in the current American consciousness, there are countless articles, papers, and research projects related to marriage and divorce being published seemingly every day. Researchers with infinitely varying philosophies and perspectives are constantly conducting studies on various factors and facets of modern relationships and what may be affecting them. It should come as no surprise that occasionally the findings of a particular study will appear to directly contradict the findings of another, or in some cases, a more widely held principle regarding marriage and divorce.

A recently published paper entitled "Breaking Up is Hard to Count: The Rise of Divorce in the United States, 1980-2010" by researchers at the University of Minnesota suggests that, contrary to widely held belief, the divorce rate in America is actually not declining. Authors Sheela Kennedy and Steven Ruggles instead posit that cultural shifts have resulted in a rising divorce rate, which may be obfuscated by the poor collection and organization of marriage and divorce statistics across the country.

Kennedy and Ruggles recognized the ability of individual municipalities and counties to maintain accurate records and accounting of vital statistics such as marriages and divorces. However, they noted that the federal government ended financial support for the detailed statewide collections of such information in 1996. Since then the state’s numbers were being submitted to the Census Bureau for tabulation, the lack of federal funding severely impacted many states’ ability to submit accurate records. By 2005, in fact, several states, including California, stopped reporting their information altogether.

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