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Marital earning disparities can lead to challenges

Despite the fact that many Georgia couples are dual earners, with both partners committed to advancing their careers, some reports indicate that relationships where the husband earns less than the wife may be more likely to run into problems. Around 38 percent of wives across the country earn a higher salary than their husbands, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Interestingly, research also indicates that these couples are likely to underestimate the wife’s earnings and overestimate the husband’s when answering surveys.

Even though an increasing number of people value career-mindedness in a spouse of any gender, some studies indicate that broader and older social attitudes can put pressure on marriages where women earn more. More American men say they are comfortable when they earn more in their relationships, and couples are one-third more likely to divorce if the wife outearns the husband. However, this is not necessarily because anything changes in the relationship itself when the wife earns more. The husband may receive negative messages and social pressure that cause him to feel bad about himself, especially because the expectation for men to earn more persists despite wide-ranging social changes.

This is evident in studies, where 40 percent of Americans said that it is important for fathers to provide financially for their children, but only 25 percent said the same thing for mothers. In general, married men tend to earn more than any other demographic, including single men and married women. This can lead to even more pressure on married men to earn more than their spouses.

Conflicts over how to manage finances are one of the most common causes of marital issues, regardless of the earnings of the spouses. People considering divorce might consult with a family law attorney about divorce legal matters, including property division and spousal support.

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