Several studies suggest that couples are more likely to get divorced if one of the spouses gets sick. The risk of divorce for California couples depends on the strength of the relationship and the specific illness involved, and an increasing number of studies say divorce is more likely when the husband gets sick than the wife. A 2015 study published by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior said that an elevated risk of going through divorce was found with a wife's illness but not with the husband's, for example.
Another study, jointly conducted by Purdue University and Iowa State University, found that having a stroke or developing heart problems does not increase divorce risk for men, but women's divorce risk is increased by these things. The study looked at 2,701 marriages and focused on the impact of cancer, lung disease, heart problems and stroke on the risk of divorce. One university sociologist who was not involved in the study suggested that men may gain more health benefits from marriage, and that women provide more support and care. When these marriage benefits are reduced due to illness, men are more likely to end the relationship.
Women are also more likely to have multiple sources of support outside the marriage. Men are more likely to turn to their wives as a sole source of support. When the husband gets sick, therefore, the wife may have other people to turn to for support.
People who are approaching or going through divorce in California may want to speak with an attorney. An attorney with experience handling divorce cases might be able to help by identifying and categorizing the couple's assets and liabilities or by negotiating the terms of property division with the other spouse. An attorney may draft and file a petition to begin divorce proceedings or argue on behalf of the client during official hearings.