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Financial disparity can put pressure on marriages

An increasing number of married couples in Kentucky consists of high-earning women. Some of these women are married to men who also earn high incomes while others outearn their partners. Despite the advances made over the years to advance gender equality in the workplace, social attitudes persist that can put additional pressure on couples with financial disparities, especially when the wife makes more than the husband. While some of the problems these couples face are common among all pairs with widely different incomes, others were more frequently found among this group.

One study found that couples in which the wife outearns the husband are 33% more likely to divorce. This can be connected to a range of factors. In some cases, the wife can be controlling when it comes to finances, a common problem in couples of all genders with a financial disparity. In other cases, the problem had less to do with actual financial behavior and more to do with social stereotypes. The husband may feel pressured to earn more than his wife and receive social messages that he is less masculine for bringing in a lower income. This attitude can trigger resentment that eventually leads to the failure of the marriage.

However, other studies indicate that perhaps the happiest partnerships are those in which both partners earn roughly the same amount. These couples are less likely to divorce or separate or be pressured into remaining in an unhappy relationship due to economic pressures.

Financial conflicts can be a major source of marital discord. When a couple decides to divorce, a family law attorney can help them reach a fair settlement on several issues, including spousal support and property division.

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