In a recent study of 2,262 adults who were in heterosexual relationships between 2009 and 2015, 69 percent of their divorces were initiated by women. While researchers already knew that women were more likely to end their marriages, females were not more likely than their male counterparts to end a non-marital relationship. This result surprised researchers who believed that the percentages would be roughly the same in both scenarios.
This belief was rooted in the theory that women ended their relationships because they were more sensitive to the ups and downs that occur while with other people. However, researchers now believe that the answer is found in the rigid traditional gender roles associated with marriage. For instance, many women are forced to take their husband's last name, stay home with the children and take a larger share of the household duties.
Women today may be less likely to want to conform to these roles in an era where gender equality is on the rise. In relationships where a couple lives together and is not married, there is no traditional role for either sex, which provides more flexibility for each partner. It is also more in line with what many men and women experience in the modern workplace.
When a marriage ends, each spouse is generally entitled to half of all of the couple's marital property in community property states such as California. Retirement income, money in a savings or checking account and business profits may be eligible for division during the divorce process. As this can often be a contentious issue, a person whose marriage is ending may want to obtain the assistance of a family law attorney at the outset.