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Couples get divorced more when men earn less

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2021 | Divorce, Family Law

California marriages face a number of challenges, especially in this day and age. While the divorce rate is stable, one factor that could impact marriages is rising wages for women. This could both give women more financial independence and possibly spark resentment in their husbands.

Women are earning more at work

Two-income households are now the norm in California. Historically, men have earned higher wages for a number of reasons. One of these explanations is gender discrimination in the workplace. Now, the trend of women’s earnings in the workplace is higher. Men have been used to being the bigger breadwinner in the home, and it has become ingrained in their egos. Some may have difficulty handling it when their wife makes more and has a larger say in the financial decisions in the household.

These marriages have a higher divorce rate

Now, 38% of women in households earn more than their husbands. Some research suggests that these couples have a higher divorce rate. One study found that couples where the woman earns more money are 33% more likely to get a divorce. One reason is that the woman’s higher earnings can cause more tension in the marriage as traditional gender expectations are bent. Another explanation is that a woman who has far higher earnings is less financially dependent on her husband. Accordingly, she has fewer barriers to making a chance if she is unhappy in her marriage.

This is an issue that couples will increasingly need to deal with, as society is rapidly changing. One can expect that gaps in earnings between the spouses will narrow, especially when they have similar training and work the same amount. Couples should learn that a woman’s increased earnings power is a good thing for the marriage because it could reduce fights over money.