Could Your Career Raise Your Risk of Divorce?

Could Your Career Raise Your Risk of Divorce?

It is no secret that stress on the job can bring stress into your marriage. Job-related stressors can include issues around pay (not enough, or a financial imbalance between spouses), working too many hours, or bringing one’s dissatisfaction at work back home to the family. The work-life balance is a real challenge, and if things go off-balance, a marriage can suffer.

Every couple divorces for different reasons – irreconcilable differences, infidelity, or other issues. Age, economic status, or education level can sometimes forecast whether or not a marriage will ultimately succeed. However, a recent study using U.S. population data hints that perhaps our choice of careers could be another predictor of whether or not our marriages will last.

The study, by statistician Nathan Yau, calculated which professions have the highest and lowest divorce rates. Actuaries tend to have the lowest rate of divorce, with a 17% divorce rate. The occupations with the highest rate of divorce? Bartenders and gaming managers, at nearly 53%. On the surface, perhaps this makes sense: actuarial jobs are low-stress and quiet, while bar and casino jobs are hectic and alcohol-related.

It may not be that simple, however. After looking more closely at the study’s numbers, the career-divorce connection likely has more to do with economics. The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) took a deep dive into the study and came up with their own findings. After looking at the 10 jobs that are most and least likely to lead to divorce, they found the following:

  • Of the professions most likely to divorce (casino workers, bartenders, etc.), none required more than a high school diploma;
  • Additionally, all had a median income of less than $35,000;
  • Of the professions least likely to divorce (actuaries, scientists, doctors), all required a bachelor’s degree or higher; and,
  • All had incomes of at least $75,000.

Of course, you can’t just switch jobs and save your marriage. There are always deeper issues at play. Explains Yau, “If someone who is already a physician, quits and takes a job as a bartender or telemarketer, it doesn’t mean their chances of divorce changes. It probably says more about the person than anything else. Similarly, those with certain occupations tend to be from similar demographics, which then factors into how the individuals live their lives.”

Income instability may be the critical factor

It’s also worth noting that the job market for professions more likely to divorce is declining, while the job market for least-likely-to-divorce careers is thriving. It is possible that income instability might have more to do with marital breakups than low income.

The authors of the IFS article, Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, wrote, “Commitment to a partner with an unstable income—someone who runs up the credit card bills, incurs large health care expenses, or needs to be bailed out of jail—can diminish family savings. The commitment marriage entails requires a willingness—legally, financially, and emotionally—to share the couple’s joint resources. For couples with unstable finances, this commitment may be a source of peril.”

The Annapolis divorce attorneys of Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC handle complex, high-asset divorce matters for clients throughout Maryland. We protect your best interests, while supporting you through this difficult process. For a consultation at our office, please call 410.921.2422 or fill out our contact form.