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Does wealth protect you from divorce?

by | Jun 23, 2019 | Firm News

The most common reasons for divorce seem to be financial worries, infidelity and lack of communication. It may seem natural to assume that having the opposite of those trends would equal a stronger marriage.

But does having more money really protect you from divorce? The answer is both yes and no.

How employment plays a role

In short, couples with higher-earning incomes tend to report greater happiness and have lower rates of marital splits. A closer look at the data, which the Institute for Family Studies reviewed, reveals other factors that contribute to the low numbers. First, high-paying jobs tend to require a college degree, and education is another trait that decreases the odds of divorce.

Furthermore, the careers with the lowest divorce rates also had the greatest projections of new jobs and industry growth. Examples of such professions include actuaries (who evaluate risk and therefore may more carefully consider marriage), scientists, clergy, optometrists and physicians. The stability and opportunity of these occupations may lead to less marital stress and contention or may make divorce an undesirable option even in an unhappy relationship.

When wealth is a problem

Unfortunately, this does not mean that more money is a guarantee of a long marriage. Too much money can also be a source of conflict in the following ways:

  • The large income is a result of you or your spouse being married to work
  • The job involves traveling frequently
  • Your spouse is hiding valuable assets from you
  • You disagree on how to spend or save money
  • Your lifestyle is too extravagant, thus bringing financial strain
  • There is a large gap in your individual earnings

The role of wealth in a divorce

While riches may simplify marital life, they usually complicate a divorce. The biggest influence is on property division. It will take more time and require different professional services, as there are numerous complex assets to account for, valuate and divide, such as retirement accounts or businesses. However, you can make the process easier by trying a cooperative method such as mediation.