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Study shows divorce rate increase when wife falls seriously ill

Texas residents may be interested in a study that looks at how serious illness of one spouse can affect a marriage. The results suggested that couples were more likely to divorce when the wife became ill, as opposed to the husband.

A team of researchers from Purdue and Iowa State University looked at data from a prior study to determine this outcome, examining information from 2,701 married couples gathered from 1992 to 2010. When the wife in the couple had a serious illness during the marriage, the researchers found that this increased the likelihood of a divorce by 6 percent over those who did not have a serious illness. In contrast, when the husband contracted a similar type of illness, there was no statistically significant effect on the likelihood of divorce.

The lead author of the study offered some guesses as to the reason for the increase in divorces that was found. The financial strain that it puts on a marriage, the change in relationship dynamics that comes when a wife is no longer able to perform certain roles and the extra pressure of managing a household and creating income could be responsible. The author also theorizes that it could be the ill wife seeking the divorce when the care their husband gives is not enough. Another expert points out the stress that being a caregiver can introduce into a relationship, which may lead to divorce.

Whatever the cause, a divorce can be a difficult and emotional time for all parties involved. An attorney with experience in laws relating to divorce may be able to help a spouse through the entire process, from the initial filing through negotiating property division and spousal support issues.

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