January is both a time to celebrate new beginnings and a time to reflect on the year that has just passed. In terms of divorce, 2012 bore witness to new studies aimed at helping Americans understand why we divorce, what affect the divorce process has on us and how to cope with the often traumatic transition that divorce has become.
Some studies were puzzling. Like the report out of Norway which concluded that couples who split up household chore duties are roughly 50 percent more likely to divorce than couples in which one partner assumes that responsibility. Researchers questioned whether a more modern view of marriage has impacted traditional roles in such a way that couples who view each other more equally tend to view marriage as less sacred.
Other studies were more straightforward. For example, researchers at Ohio State University concluded that the financial burden of divorce all but prohibits the most impoverished Americans from seeking one. In addition, the European Economic Review published findings that women who work an extraordinary amount face an increased risk of divorce. This finding likely has less to do with the role of women in the workforce than the idea that if you never see your spouse, your relationship is more likely to falter.
Still other studies proved straightforward in one sense and puzzling in another. A University of Michigan study determined that men close to their wives' parents are at less risk for divorce while women close to their husbands' parents are at a higher risk of divorce.
At the end of 2012, Americans understood divorce just a little better. Yet, studies in future years promise to broaden our knowledge even more. If you have questions about divorce in Virginia, our family lawyers can help.