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Are Wealthy Couples More Likely to Divorce?

couple sitting at table with clenched hands near divorce documents

Wealthy couples have higher odds of divorce because more money translates to more stress in a committed relationship. A 2018 study by Northwestern Mutual found that a person’s relationship with money increases his or her chances of divorce. Around 41% of more than 2,000 adults surveyed said financial anxiety affects how they relate with a partner or spouse.

couple sitting at table with clenched hands near divorce documents

Expensive Lifestyle and Economic Discrepancy

Wealthy couples often live an extravagant lifestyle and set themselves up for major disagreements over financial issues. If one spouse in a committed relationship is a high-income earner, the other one is often not working. The economic gap is usually a problem. In most cases, the high-income earner may need to travel and spend many hours away from home, causing tension in the marriage.

Lack of Financial Transparency  

On top of arguing about money, wealthy couples may also conceal transactions from one another. A survey carried out by found out that 20% of Americans in a committed relationship have secretly spent at least $500 without informing their partner. Additionally, 6% hold secret credit cards or bank accounts. Even during divorce, some spouses hide assets to avoid sharing them with the other spouse. This action is, however, illegal and the other spouse may use legal tools to uncover hidden assets.

New Gender Roles

The number of wives earning more than their husbands has grown dramatically over the years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that around 38% of wives have higher paychecks than their husbands. Even in 2021, traditional views on marriage still carry the day. A 2016 study by Harvard University’s professor Alexandra Killewald found that the odds of divorce are roughly 33% higher when a husband earns less than his wife.

Divorce lawyer Denise Erlich

Factors such as a costly lifestyle and an economic gap, arguments about money and a lack of financial transparency, and new gender roles may increase the risk of divorce among wealthy couples. A divorce attorney can make the high net worth divorce process less emotionally and financially demanding by spelling out grounds for divorce, offering objective advice, determining spousal support, assisting with custody plans, and preparing divorce papers. The attorney can also negotiate a reasonable divorce settlement on behalf of the client and represent him or her in court if necessary.

Uncontested divorce lawyer Denise Erlich is passionate about helping divorcing couples in the greater Chicagoland area transition to their new life as seamlessly as possible. Ms. Erlich patiently guides her clients through every step of the divorce process and provides clients with candid advice about their case and legal options, so they can make informed decisions about their future.

Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
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