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Divorce less common for doctors

One study suggests that physicians from Massachusetts and the rest of the U.S. are less likely to divorce than the general population, although women doctors have a higher divorce rate than their male peers. According to the study, the findings suggest that contrary to the common belief that longer hours and more demands make doctors prime candidates for divorce, physicians may actually have a better work-life balance than other workers.

Out of a sampling of 240,000 people working in various medical fields, including doctors, pharmacists, nurses and executives, pharmacists were least likely to divorce at 23 percent, followed by doctors at 24 percent. Nurses were most likely to be divorced at 33 percent, which is still lower than the 35 percent average divorce rate for the American general population.

Women practicing medicine did not fare as well as their male colleagues in the study, averaging a divorce rate 1.5 times higher than that of male doctors. In addition, the study indicates a sharp difference in time distribution between home and work. Men who work more than 40 hours a week are more likely to stay married than women. The study's lead author hypothesizes that because women physicians are forced to make more compromises between work and home life, their marriages may be more vulnerable.

When investigating potential divorce issues, an attorney may need to start looking at the factors at play in each unique case. Children, shared assets and joint debts will likely be taken into account as well. The attorney might attempt to facilitate reconciliation or broker an amenable divorce settlement, if possible. If a settlement cannot be reached or is contested, the attorney might proceed to present the client's case in court.

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