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Do money problems or employment issues raise fights between you and your spouse? If so, you’re not the only ones grappling with complex issues surrounding your relationship. The roles played in a relationship may be difficult for one or both spouses, ultimately leading you to think about separation or divorce.

There are many different studies that have looked into what can increase a couple’s chance of divorce. There is no doubt that maintaining a healthy and long relationship is one of the most common challenges people face in life because there are so many different contributing factors. Over the past several years, divorce rates have been slowing down, however, people are still interested in the biggest factors that lead to divorce. A study recently completed at Harvard and published in American Sociological Review found that the biggest factor impacting divorce is the job status of the husband.

The researcher in charge of the project found that men who did not have jobs or those who have been out of work for a long period of time had a much higher chance statistically of getting divorced in any given year when compared with their stably employed counterparts. Money is often a critical factor in divorce proceedings and this study contributes an additional layer of complexity to existing financial issues in a marriage. Men who do not have jobs increase their chances of divorce by approximately 30%.

The study looked at data that went back to total of 46 years. For any marriage that was formed after 1975, the husband’s lack of fulltime employment was associated with a higher risk of divorce. However, the wife’s fulltime employment status or contribution towards the household labor was not associated with divorce risk.

The study’s researcher explains that the expectations of a wife being a homemaker may have eroded but the standards and stereotypes of the husband being the breadwinner appears to still be present. If you or someone you know is thinking about divorce, schedule a consultation with an attorney today to talk more about what divorce might look like in your individual situation.