For Women Diagnosed with Cancer, Divorce Also Likely

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The journal Cancer published results of a study this month, showing that where a patient is diagnosed with cancer or multiple sclerosis, a divorce is less likely than in the average population if the patient is the husband, and a divorce is more likely than in the average population if the patient is the woman.

While the overall divorce rate for cancer patients is the same as in the general population (around 11%), there is a dramatic variation from the general population, depending on whether the patient is the wife or the husband:

The rate when the woman was the patient was 20.8 percent compared to 2.9 percent when the man was the patient. Science Daily

As summarized by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center:

Why men leave a sick spouse can be partly explained by their lack of ability, compared to women, to make more rapid commitments to being caregivers to a sick partner and women’s better ability to assume the burdens of maintaining a home and family, the study authors said.

Whether the patient diagnosed with cancer is a man or a woman, a spouse with diminished earning capacity due to a health condition may be able to expect higher alimony than might otherwise be awarded.

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