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Housework arguments can be a warning sign for a marriage

It may be no surprise that couples in Maryland who eventually decide to divorce are more likely to argue about a range of issues before the end of the marriage. However, one study indicates that arguments over relatively mundane issues like housework and the distribution of chores can be a significant factor in a split, not only fights over issues that more immediately indicate a serious clash of values, such as finances and parenting.

In a report issued by Harvard Business School, researchers noted that a high level of reported arguments about cleaning in the house could be an indicator of future divorce. There were 3,000 couples interviewed for the survey, and the researchers found that 25 percent of divorcing couples noted that housework disagreements were a primary factor in the split. The study also noted that when couples had funds to resolve the issue by hiring a cleaning service, they were more likely to save their marriage. The issue may not simply be cleaning, of course; people with higher incomes are less likely to face stress-inducing financial crises.

This means that couples with lower incomes could find their marriages at greater risk, especially when hiring outside help or contracting a service is not a solution to ongoing disagreements. In one 2017 study, it was found that couples who can budget $100 to $200 per month on outsourced tasks like grocery delivery or dry cleaning report happier marriages. However, this means that for people living paycheck to paycheck, honing communication skills and keeping an eye out for gender disparities can be particularly important.

Whether prompted by irreconcilable differences over housework, child-rearing or other key issues, couples may decide that divorce is their best option. When going through a divorce, an individual may ask a family law attorney to advocate for their interests in a range of matters, including asset division, child custody and spousal support.

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