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Recent data debunks a divorce myth

The reasons for divorce in Massachusetts can vary as greatly and as widely as individuals in a marriage. In 2003, one economist discovered a surprising correlation between marriages that produced first-born daughters and marriages that later ended in divorce. However, recent data has demonstrated that this old notion might not be so true after all.

Married couples who have children, and have a daughter first rather than a son, have a 5 percent increased risk of divorcing. Various theories have attempted to explain this pattern. One such theory states that fathers might just instinctively prefer a son. This instinct could possibly encourage a husband to be more committed to making a marriage work. Another idea theorizes that mothers may feel more capable of being a single-mother with a daughter and may feel more confident in seeking a divorce.

However, more recent research negates both these theories. Marriages already affected by arguments or other hardships can cause stress on a pregnancy. Female fetuses tend to have a higher survival advantage than their male counterparts, so when a marriage is already on the rocks, it appears that it’s just more likely that a daughter will survive.

Whatever reason a Massachusetts’ couple decides to divorce, they me be well-advised to take a close look at both their current and future needs. While assets that were accrued before a marriage typically go back to that individual, marital assets must be divided equitably between the two parties. Certain assets, such as homes or vehicles, can have a significant impact on finances and should be dealt with carefully.

Source:, "Daughters do not cause divorce", Benjamin Plackett, Aug. 1, 2014

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