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Attorneys Vic Hill and Brad MacDonald

Divorce: The Effect of Generational Attitudes and Womens’ Income

If you are in a marriage that was established between 1979 and 2002 and in which the wife makes 60 percent or more of the family’s income, you might want to revisit the spread.

As reported in a recent study, that would appear to be sound advice in a great many instances; in an article soon to be featured in the Journal of Family Issues, researchers say that when that degree of separation exists in what each member of a married team brings home in salary, the odds of a divorce are 38 percent higher than for other couples.

Why would that be? According to chief researcher Jay Teachman, it has to do with generational attitudes. Many of the 2,500 women who participated in his study were married between those years and represent a group that he says is likely “the last generation” to uniformly expect the male in a marriage to be bringing home the most money.

When that doesn’t happen, things can change. “When marriages form, there are expectations,” says Teachman. When those are frustrated, many women think, “This isn’t what I bargained for.”

Teachman would like to do the study again, “in 10 years with younger women, because it’s a different generation.” He thinks the outcome might be different, because women are becoming increasingly accustomed to making money and having careers.

Related Resource: “Women’s divorce cur$e” September 10, 2010