People in Nevada may have heard before that women in heterosexual marriages are more likely than men to initiate divorces, but a new study presented at the American Sociological Association suggests that this is not the case when a couple is unmarried. Among unmarried couples, either gender is equally likely to initiate a breakup.
According to the study, which surveyed 2,262 people in opposite sex relationships over a six-year period beginning in 2009, women initiated 69 percent of divorces. This percentage was in line with previous studies, and many researchers had speculated this was due to women being more attuned to the ups and downs of a relationship. However, this study suggests that the institution of marriage itself may be a factor in women's unhappiness.
The study's lead author pointed out that women often feel pressured to change their names when they marry and to take on a larger burden of housework and child care. This may lead to greater dissatisfaction for married women. In relationships where couples have not married, there might be less pressure to fall into traditional gender roles.
Both men and women who are considering divorce may want to speak with an attorney regarding issues such as finances, custody and support. For example, even though Nevada is a community property state, this does not necessarily mean that all marital assets will be split 50/50. In fact, what comes first is a process of determining what will be considered marital assets, and this can often be complex. A parent who is contemplating a divorce may also wish to work with an attorney on issues involving child custody and support. Even if the parents are able to negotiate amicably, it may be best to work with separate attorneys and get a legal agreement in place. If child custody issues end up in court, the judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child.