While more Missouri couples may be starting their marriages from a position of equality, plenty of couples still begin with more traditional arrangements in which the husband is the breadwinner. According to a new Swedish study, marriages in which women grow to become higher earners than their husbands are more likely to end in divorce.
This may happen for a few reasons. For example, some men become hostile when their position as breadwinner is threatened. Husbands might start trying to control the money that comes in, or they may get jealous and accuse the wife of having an affair. Others could respond by working less but not doing more child care or housework.
Women who start out focusing on raising a family are more likely to reach their full earning potential later than men. When they step into positions of greater responsibility at work, they may not have the same time for domestic tasks, and if their husbands are not doing them either, this could cause resentment. Couples can try to communicate their schedules and needs specifically, but if they are not successful, divorce might be the result.
Another traditional arrangement is for the ex-husband to pay spousal support to his ex-wife. If the wife earns significantly more, however, she could end up paying spousal support after divorce. The couple may also need to divide assets such as retirement accounts, bank accounts and a home. If there are children, there will also be a child custody agreement. Legal counsel could help a couple throughout the divorce process.