After nearly 20 years of studying family law and practicing matrimonial, divorce and family law, it has been my experience that one of the biggest stressors leading to divorce is money woes.
If a couple is experiencing issues with money due to job loss, mental or physical illness, addiction or other unexpected expenses, the added stress of not having sufficient funds to meet current obligations often magnifies existing problems in the relationship, leading to separation or divorce.
One of the largest sources of unexpected expenses is medical expenses. A recent study by University of Kansas economists, David Slusky and Donna Ginther, found that access to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion actually reduced the divorce rate in states that expanded Medicaid compared to states that did not.
Prior to the passage of Obamacare, states put a limit on the assets a married couple could hold before they would qualify for Medicaid coverage. Thus, when one spouse requires expensive medical care, the couple would have to either spend down their savings to qualify for Medicaid coverage, or they could chose to divorce to protect the other spouse’s assets. Obamacare removed that obstacle and instead extended Medicaid coverage to adults under age 65 with incomes up to 138% of the poverty line, regardless of assets. In states that expanded Medicaid, a low-income couple could qualify for Medicaid without the other spouse spending down his/her assets. As a result, one of the reasons that couples divorce was removed and the divorce rate went down in those states that extended Medicare.
(Annalyn Kurtz, How Obamacare Lowered the Divorce Rate for Baby Boomers, Fortune (Feb 16, 2017) http;//fortune.com/201/02/16/obamacare-divorce/)