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Workplace gender disparity and divorce

Pennsylvania residents who work with several members of the opposite sex are more likely to get divorced according to a study published on Sept. 25 in the medical journal Biology. Previous research has revealed that men tend to favor shorter relationships when alternative sexual partners are abundant, but these studies focused on living rather than working arrangements. The new study explores how gender ratios in the workplace affect relationships as this is where most people spend the majority of their time.

A research team from Stockholm University pored over Danish population data gathered over more than three decades to find out if workplace gender balance affected divorce rates, and they discovered that spouses who had plenty of prospective partners to choose from at work were more likely to end their marriages. Researchers found this trend in workplace sectors dominated by both men and women. However, they noticed that the link between workplace gender disparity and divorce was higher among men.

The chances of divorce also rise when jobs require large amounts of social interaction. Bar, restaurant and hotel workers divorce frequently according to the study, but librarians and farmers tend to stay married. Education appears to influence divorce differently for men and women. The figures reveal that college-educated women who work in industries dominated by men rarely divorce, but the opposite is true of men with college degrees.

Experienced divorce attorneys may bring up studies like this one when discussing prenuptial agreements with their clients. Attorneys could point out that the greatest benefit prenuptial agreements provide is not financial security but peace of mind. However, prenuptial agreements must be drafted carefully as they are often challenged in court. Attorneys could seek to ensure that agreements withstand judicial scrutiny by ensuring that the terms are essentially fair and that the parties negotiated in good faith and made complete and honest disclosures.

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