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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law - Criminal, Family Law, Attorney
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Gender, divorce and serious illness

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Research may shed a troubling light on how couples in Louisiana interact, especially when it comes to caregiving and illness. When one partner becomes seriously ill, a couple may be more likely to divorce. However, studies indicate that the likelihood of a split only rises when the wife is the one to fall ill. While there are a number of factors that can contribute to the divorce risk, including the existing strength of the relationship and other underlying issues, marital problems are more likely to arise when women are sick.

Multiple studies show that women with cancer are more likely to divorce. Other research indicates that women who had heart disease or stroke were even more likely to separate than those with cancer or lung diseases. On the other hand, studies show that husbands' serious illnesses do not carry an increased likelihood of divorce.

Many point to social gender issues as a major reason for this statistical outcome. Wives may do more work to support their husbands and their health, and ill wives may be unable to perform these activities, needing care themselves instead. In addition, men depend more on their wives for support while women often rely on more diverse networks of family and friends for assistance during a serious illness. It should be noted that this research has been performed primarily with older couples who may be more prone to adopt traditional gender ideas.

Even when both parties are healthy, however, serious issues can arise in a marriage over time. Disputes over finances, infidelity or parenting can lead to divorce. When a spouse is considering ending a marriage, a family law attorney may provide advice, guidance and representation throughout the process in order to achieve a fair outcome.

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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law
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