Until Illness Do Us Part

divorce and illness, Dr. Nina Silverberg, Illinois family law attorney, illness, illness in your marriage, legal advice, life-threatening illnesses, National Institute of AgingA new study from the University of Michigan Population Studies Center reports women over 50 are doubly vulnerable to divorce in the event of illness.

The Health and Retirement Study, just presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, tracked over 2,700 couples – healthy at the program’s start – between 1992 and 2010. The study examined the effect of four life-threatening illnesses: heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and stroke.

The results revealed that 47 percent of the individuals studied experienced such an illness. By 2010, 31 percent of those couples had divorced, and a husband’s death had left 24 percent in widowhood.

A key finding, however, was that gender played an important role. If the wife fell ill, 15 percent of the marriages ended in divorce, most prominently in cases of heart disease or lung issues. Two reasons were cited: gender norms and social expectations regarding caregiving make it harder for men to care for women, and a significant imbalance in the marriage market for older adults provides older divorced men more choice. Couples that have established routines may struggle to adjust to the needs of a spouse who requires more assistance in order to cope with or overcome a serious illness.

A positive step in both finding this information, and then addressing it, lies in the very participation of older adults, historically a much-underrepresented group in research studies. Dr. Nina Silverberg, assistant director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Centers program within the National Institute of Aging, is engaged in a new initiative among local aging services and public health networks, to increase awareness among older adults and their inclusion in future research.

If you have struggled with a diagnosis or illness in your marriage and you would like to learn more about your legal options, like legal separation or divorce, contact an Illinois family law attorney today.

Share this Post : Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
This entry was posted in Chicago divorce attorney, Divorce, DuPage County divorce lawyer and tagged , , , , , , , .

Comments are closed.

Logo Image 1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307
Aurora, IL 60505
Phone: 630-409-8184
Facebook   Twitter   Google Plus   Our Blog