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Could being a highly paid woman lead to a divorce?

While many people across the state of Virginia likely have not considered divorce in their own marriage, a new study concerning earning trends and divorce rates could start changing how people view their own marriage very soon.

While experts in the field of employment still say that women are not paid nearly as much as men, new studies indicate that women are becoming the breadwinner of the household at an ncreasing rate. According to one study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 40 percent of American households have the woman as the primary source of income. This is astounding when compared to statistics in 1960 where it was estimated that only about 11 percent of women were making more money than their spouse.

But while this is a huge boost for the 'power to women' movement, it might also be causing problems in some relationships the nation over. Society’s stereotypical marriage assumes that the man is the top earner and the woman stays home with the kids. When these roles are reversed, animosities can sometimes percolate, often leading to disputes between spouses who have never communicated their expectations to their partners.

New divorce statistics are also not helping the case for well-paid women. According to a recent study, the divorce rate is 50 percent higher when women earn more than their partner. Coupled with what we just mentioned above, some couples might find the talk of divorce more likely in their future than they would have previously thought.

In high-income families, this can be even worse because there are more assets at stake in the event of a divorce. While speaking about these concerns early on in a relationship can often help couples come to a resolution before a situation gets out of hand, for many couples this may not work. It’s in situations such as this that legal representation is highly recommended and is likely necessary if a couple chooses to separate in the end.

Source: CBS Boston, "Study: Divorce Rate Higher When Women Are Breadwinners," Kate Merrill, Oct. 29, 2013

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