Household chores may be sending some New York couples to divorce court, according to a new report. The survey, which was conducted by Harvard Business School, involved 3,000 divorcing couples. Roughly 25 percent of them blamed arguments over housework as the top reason for parting ways.
The study also found that couples who paid for a cleaning service or hired other forms of outside help for their homes were less likely to sign divorce papers. The results back up a 2017 study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that found that couples who spent between $100 and $200 a month to outsource household chores had healthier relationships.
While outsourcing household chores may help, experts say that couples don’t have to budget for a cleaning service to save their marriage. Learning how to solve disputes about housework and communicate individual needs will also help foster and maintain a happy relationship. A 2017 study published in the journal Sex Roles found that women in heterosexual relationships continue to do most of the housework. This is true even if they have a full-time career. Couples who can negotiate a fair balance of household labor may argue less and be able to avoid divorce court.
A spouse facing the end of their marriage could benefit by contacting a divorce attorney as soon as possible. Legal counsel could protect their client’s interests throughout the divorce process. They could also work to negotiate fair agreements on property division, spousal support, child support, child custody and other important divorce legal issues. If an agreement modification is needed at a later date, an attorney could file a petition with the court.