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Financial imbalance could make divorce more likely

| May 7, 2019 | Divorce |

Over the years, more women in Georgia have developed active, flourishing careers. Many people who enter a marriage expect that both spouses will contribute financially to maintaining the household. However, some studies indicate that couples in which the wife earns more than her husband are one-third more likely to divorce. There are a number of factors that could lead to this outcome. Some are common to all partnerships with a significant financial imbalance while others may have more to do with the social messages that people receive about income and gender. This kind of social pressure can still persist despite significant social changes.

All couples with a financial imbalance may struggle with equitable decision-making within the relationship, leading to divorce being more likely. However, especially within the context of social expectations, men may find it more challenging to be in a secondary position when it comes to making decisions about family finances. This is more common when the wife significantly out-earns the husband. Even when both parties are behaving equitably toward one another, external pressure can still influence the relationship. Men who earn less than their wives may be mocked by others who view their financial relationship as emasculating.

This kind of behavior can, inversely, lead the lower-earning husband to behave in a controlling or dismissive way, again pushing the marriage toward divorce. However, these outcomes are far from a certainty; a growing number of relationships with this financial profile are thriving. Wives are the breadwinners in 38% of American married couples.

Financial problems and disputes are one of the most common underlying causes of divorce, and the dissolution of a marriage can have a significant financial impact. A family law attorney may help a divorcing spouse to advocate for a fair resolution on property division, spousal support and other key issues.

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