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Study: Woman’s promotion can raise risk of divorce

A recently-released white paper from two Swedish academics found that marriages where a woman was not working or earning less than their spouse were more likely to get divorced if the woman’s career suddenly took off.

The study followed detailed register data in Sweden that followed women before and after promotions. The divorce rates among women who won elections, such as those who became parliamentarians and mayors, as well as chief executive officers (CEOs) were 7 percent less likely to remain married than women who ran for office but didn’t win. Demographic information, such as education level and age, were also considered.

In studying men in the same instances, the researchers found that there was no effect on whether they stayed married or not. Married women who were promoted to a CEO position for a company with 100 employees or more had a risk of divorce that was twice as high after three years as male CEOs.

The researchers hypothesize that these facts could be why divorce rates were higher for women who were promoted:

  1. A woman’s promotion while in an “unequal relationship” causes more stress.
  2. A wife’s promotion is often unexpected in couples where the man’s career is prioritized.
  3. Women leave relationships when they don’t offer support or flexibility when it comes to her career.

The researchers also found that the higher divorce rates only impacts couples that are considered “gender traditional.” In other words, women who take 80 percent or more of parental leave are considered “gender traditional.” Four out of every five married women were in this category.

No matter what the reason, a divorce can create havoc in your life. An experienced attorney can help you determine how to proceed and provide information on legal options that may be available to you.

Source: Fortune, “Being Promoted May Double Women’s Odds of Getting Divorced,” Valentina Zarya, March 05, 2018

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