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Changing gender roles and divorce

Some men expect to be the financial providers for their families. Therefore, when they make less than their wives, there may be trouble ahead for their relationships. Studies show that this is often true for married couples in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. In some cases, husbands who are not the breadwinners feel as if their wives have more control than they do. A perceived lack of control may be a blow to their egos.

It is becoming more common for wives to make more than the husbands in their lives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the case in 38% of marriages. The feeling that men need to be financially successful has lingered despite the fact that attitudes toward marriage and gender roles are changing. It has become more common for couples to marry for love as opposed to financial security.

This may be a moot point as married men typically make more than married women or single men. Part of the reason for this statistic is that men typically don’t get married until they are almost 30. Therefore, their earning power may be higher than single men. However, by the time men and women get to their 50th birthdays, they generally focus more on the relationship that they have instead of the money that they make.

The end of a marriage may not mean the end of a person’s responsibility to support a former spouse. Generally speaking, the ex who has fewer assets or earned less money during the marriage is entitled to alimony. An exception may be made if the marriage lasted for less than 10 years. An exception may also be made if a prenuptial agreement forbids either person from obtaining financial assistance. Legal counsel can help a client navigate the divorce process.

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