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Illness can be hard on a relationship, what about in a divorce?

There are a lot of reasons why a relationship may end. In some cases, a spouse may be able to say “that was the moment I knew” and in others the divide may occur over time. According to a recent research study, chronic disease is one of those factors that can take a toll on a marriage, and it likely doesn’t happen all at once.

The study we’re referring to is on the schedule for this year’s Population Association of America meeting. Researchers looked at data that spanned 20 years for couples in which at least one spouse was over the age of 50, scouring the data for individuals that had been diagnosed with serious illnesses that affect much of the greater population. These diagnoses included cancers, heart and lung disease or stroke.

When the researchers looked at the rate of divorce for the 2,717 couples, they found that 31 percent ended in divorce. When researchers factored in chronic illness, they found that 75 percent of those relationships ended in divorce. When the data was broken down again by gender, researchers found that divorce was more likely for couples in which the wife was the one that had been diagnosed.

Reading statistics like this, it may make some of our readers wonder whether special circumstances, like a debilitating illness, can be considered in the determination of spousal support in Columbus, Ohio.

In some cases, the standard of living discussion isn’t about whether a spouse can still afford to go out to five-star restaurants or pay for a three-bedroom apartment. What if a standard of living means continued payments for medical expenses? What if a spouse’s illness prevented him or her from earning an income during the marriage? What if the illness is terminal?

A divorce ends a marriage under the eyes of the law, but what is decided, either through out-of-court negotiations or arguments presided over by a judge, affects the lives of those involved. Is that something you’d trust to just anyone?

Source: TIME, “Divorce More Likely When Wife Falls Ill,” Alexandra Sifferlin, May 1, 2014

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