Studies look at effects of women’s higher earnings on marriage

Women in Missouri may be more likely to make more money than their husbands did in previous generations, but this does not make their marriages more stable. Marriages in which wives earn more than their husbands could be more likely to end in divorce.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that around 38% of wives are bigger earners than their husbands. However, attitudes toward husbands who are not the main breadwinners in the family have not kept up with these changes. A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 25% of people thought it was extremely important for mothers to earn money for their children compared to 40% who believed this about fathers. Pew Research also reported that while women earned at least half the income for just 13% of couples living together in 1981, that percentage rose to one-third by 2017.

Married men make more money than single men, single women or married women. Their average annual salary in their peak year of earnings is $80,000. This is partly because of the gender gap but also because men tend to marry later and so will be further along in the careers when they get married. However, men who are bringing significant assets into a marriage might still be wary about marrying a woman who makes much less.

Men who earn significantly more than their wives may also be required to pay spousal and child support in a divorce. Generally, spousal support only lasts for a few years and is separate from child support, which usually is paid until a child turns 18. There are some cases in which women pay child and spousal support; if the man stayed home as the main caregiver, he might be more likely to be granted child custody.

Related Posts