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How financial disparities may lead to a divorce

| May 9, 2019 | Divorce |

Financial disputes are one of the problems that can most commonly lead Virginia couples to end their marriage. This disputes can be exacerbated when one partner makes significantly more. However, according to one study, this is particularly true when the higher-earning partner is the wife, rather than the husband. These couples were 33 percent more likely to divorce, and there are a number of factors that could contribute to the situation.

Some husbands say that their wives can be overbearing about financial decision-making, especially if they are the sole or major breadwinners. These types of disputes can emerge frequently in couples with widely disparate incomes, but men may be less willing to accept an unequal role in financial decisions for the family. However, not all of the issues were related to inequality in the relationship. Even when financial decisions were made equitably by the couple, with both partners having a valued voice in the discussion, these couples seemed to have a higher likelihood of divorcing.

Social messages about men’s incomes and masculinity may put extra pressure on the husbands in these relationships. They may be more likely to become controlling or resentful toward their higher-earning wives, leading to conflicts that eventually bring the marriage to an end. Of course, many people continue to enjoy successful relationships with various financial configurations. After all, 38% of American married couples have a wife who earns more than her husband, according to a federal government agency. The lowest level of divorce overall was found among couples who earned roughly the same amount.

Once people decide to end their marriage, financial issues and complex negotiations remain ahead. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing client to seek a fair settlement on property division, alimony, and other matters.