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Texas divorce more likely if wife falls ill, study suggests

Sunday, June 24, 2018

While "in sickness and in health" has long been part of traditional marriage vows, it appears the opposite may actually be true. A recent study has suggested that approximately 31 percent of marriages in which one or the other spouse has fallen seriously ill will end in a Texas divorce or its equivalent in other jurisdictions across the nation. While the study's information is not complete, it paints a somewhat dim picture of married life in which chronic or serious illness is an additional factor.

While researchers agree the risk of divorce is higher if one or the other spouse falls ill, the numbers associated with these findings vary wildly, from 31 percent to a shocking 75 percent for couples dealing with chronic illness or disease. Perhaps because older people are more prone to illness of this type, the statistic seemed to center on those over age 50. Interestingly, while men were more likely to become ill, the divorce rate was more prevalent if the wife became sick.

The reasons behind this apparent trend are still not clear, though several theories have been tossed around the sociological community. It is possible that men are cowed by the archetypical feminine role of caregiver. Given that ill women are more likely to initiate proceedings, it is possible they feel as though their partner is not providing the needed support. It is also possible that stress over finances required for additional care is a culprit.

Divorce is not always brought on by irreconcilable differences or other traumatic relationship struggles. Sometimes, the pressure of an unforeseen health problem can get the best of even the strongest relationships. In this case, it is doubly important for both individuals to understand their rights under Texas divorce law. In cases where one or both parties suffers from an illness or other infirmity, it will likely be important to address potentially relevant issues such as medical care and spousal support within the context of the existing asset and debt circumstances.

Source: Time, "Couples Are More Likely to Get Divorced if the Wife Gets Sick", Alexandra Sifferlin, May 1, 2014

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