You may have no option but to work night shifts, as that’s simply when they need you on the clock — and quitting your job over scheduling isn’t an option. Or, you may have a high-stress job like being a doctor, which can require night shifts simply because you cannot predict when your services will be needed. People have babies and get into car accidents and come down with diseases at all hours of the day. Someone has to be at the hospital to help.
If you’re stuck working these long, inconvenient shifts, you may have noticed an impact on your family life. If you’re just a married couple, but your spouse works day shifts, you rarely see each other. If you have children, the responsibility for raising them falls almost entirely on your spouse. It’s really hard to take on a job like this and still manage a family. Is that going to lead to a divorce?
It can. Studies have shown higher divorce rates for those on night shifts, especially when kids are involved. That’s true for both men and women, so it does not necessarily matter who is taking care of the kids and who is working — though the odds were higher when men were working the night shift.
The problem is just that, while all work creates some level of stress, a schedule that is not compatible with your family life creates extra stress. Many couples think they can make it work at first, or the person on those shifts thinks that it’s just temporary. But that stress adds up over time. When nothing changes, the cumulative impact of working on that schedule can end the marriage.
If this happens to you, it’s important to focus on your rights and your legal options. This is especially true when children are in the picture. You need to know where you stand and what steps to take at the end of your marriage so that you can work toward the future you want.