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When wives earn more than their husbands, it can spell trouble for the marriage

It used to be that males made up the majority of employees in the workforce. Even in instances in which both males and females worked in the same workplace in a similar role, the men were the ones who brought in a higher salary. Things have changed a lot in recent years, though.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor for 2019 shows that an estimated 38% of wives brought in more income than their husbands that year. This trend seems not to work well for husbands. A subsequent MEL magazine report chronicled how the more that wives outearn their husbands, the more likely they are to divorce.

Why can inequitable salaries result in contentious marriages?

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that husbands often inflate their salaries by 2.9% when they’re the higher income earning spouse in their marriage. Wives often report 1.5% less in earnings when their husbands make less than them.

In a research study conducted at Harvard University in 2019 involving 6,300 couples, respondents revealed that when a wife has a job and the husband does not, the couple is 33% more likely to divorce than other couples. When couples where the wife is earning more than the husband divorce, the wife may end up having to pay spousal support.

As someone who’s gone out there and worked hard to earn what you have, you likely want to fight to preserve everything you can. You may want to read over the resources on our website to learn more about property division, spousal support and the steps you can take to protect your financial future.

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