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Changing roles in marriage can cause divorce, study finds

Some marriages in Arizona may start with each person being on equal footing. Others may begin in a more traditional manner, where the husband is in charge of finances and earning money while the wife stays home with the children or has a job that pays less money. According to researchers in Sweden, if there is a change in the career trajectory of the wife in the latter scenario that leads to her earning as much or more money than her husband, that marriage could be more likely to end in divorce than one in which both people were equal from the start.

One issue is that women may put off their own career development in favor of relocating for their husbands' jobs and raising the children. When the women reenter the workplace or take on more responsibilities at work, husbands may not step up to take over the child care and household chores even if they cut back on their own hours. This can create resentment in women who are now juggling these tasks along with demanding careers.

Some men may even become angry and controlling. They might try to take over the money their wives earn or accuse their wives of cheating on them. Couples may be able to avoid these outcomes with good communication and a commitment to equality in decision-making.

When these situations do lead to divorce, couples must make a plan for child custody and visitation and property division or go to court. Many couples prefer to negotiate these matters with their attorneys instead of going through litigation. Even if people have been unable to work out their differences in the marriage, alternative dispute resolution processes like mediation may help them reach an agreement. Couples should be aware that most debts and assets acquired during the marriage will be considered shared property since Arizona is a community property state.

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