• Washington, DC Divorce Attorney (202) 596-5716
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Divorce and Illness in Washington, DC

In sickness and in health are vows exchanged at most weddings.  According to a recent article in Huffington Post, this is not always the case.

This article features a new study from the Journal of Health and Social Behavior which suggests when the wife gets seriously ill, marriages consisting of spouses over the age of 50 are more likely to end up with the parties getting a divorce.  The study conducted at the Iowa State University involved nearly 3,000 married couples whose spouses were over the age of 50.

This 12-year-study examined whether a diagnosis of cancer, heart decease, stroke, and lung diseases had any effect of divorce rates.  The findings were that when a wife became seriously ill, there was a six percent increase in divorce rates for those couples, while at the same time, when the husband became terminally or seriously ill, there was no increase in divorce rates.

These results obviously garnered a great deal of attention with many emotionally charged responses.  Researchers quoted in the article said many women told them this happened to them.  It was common for women to come forward and say after they were diagnosed with lung cancer, their husband asked for a divorce.

While much of the emotional response is understandable, it is important to keep in mind most divorces occur with parties much younger than 50 years of age.  Most divorces actually occur in marriages where the average age of the spouses is 30.  Conversely, research has shown in younger couples a husband’s illness often lead to divorce.

The study did not look at the reasons to why there was an increased rate of divorce when the wife became sick.  Another interesting point about that this study was researchers could not definitively establish which spouse was asking for a divorce when the wife became sick.  While common sense would lead people to assume it was the husband asking for a divorce, some research suggests the possibility wives were not satisfied with the level of caregiving being received from their husbands.   An additional rational for why a wife recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition would ask for a divorce was that she was already not happy in the marriage, and this was a life-changing event that triggered action.

Regardless of whether a decision to divorce is mutual, or made by either the husband or wife, as a Washington, DC divorce attorney, I know that the process can be very intimidating for those involved.  While some parties will try to represent themselves in their divorce case, having a lawyer who is truly on your side, to represent you, and counsel you thorough the process can make even this hard situation easier to handle.

The process itself can be very complex, and you have more important things to worry about than whether you need to fill out the parenting plan, or the four-part agreement before going to your DC divorce hearing. 

If you need assistance with a divorce in Washington, DC, or any other family law matter, please contact the Law Office of Daniel A. Gross, PLLC for a complete and confidential consultation by calling 202.596.5976


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