Arguments over household chores could lead to more divorces than Michigan couples may realize. In a recent Harvard Business School survey of 3,000 divorced couples, housework disputes was listed as the top reason for splitting by one-quarter of respondents.

Spending money on maid cleanings or related services, such as laundry or grocery delivery, has been shown to both increase personal happiness and improve relationships. These couples have more free time to relax and spend time with one another. In 2017, a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that just spending around $100 to $200 per month on cleaning services could make a difference.

Unfortunately, many couples do not have a spare $100 in their budgets. However, this does not mean that lower-income couples should be more worried about divorce. Finding healthy ways to disagree and express needs is an important part of a relationship. The journal Sex Roles published the results of a study in 2017 that found that even women who work full time still do most of the housework in heterosexual relationships. What breaks couples up might be an overall frustration with this pattern rather than any individual fight about a particular household task.

If a couple does decide to divorce, whether it’s over housework or some other issue, they may need to divide property and negotiate an arrangement for child custody. If they are unable to negotiate these agreements, they will have to go to litigation where a judge will decide. There are a number of financial and personal advantages to negotiating. However, this will require the full cooperation of both people, and that may not always be forthcoming. A spouse who must go through litigation may want to discuss goals with an attorney.