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Women, Education and Divorce

Carlsbad, CA – There was a time when relationships involving wives with better educations and jobs than their husbands had a higher rate of divorce. Recent studies prove times are changing as these same relationships now exhibit a lower divorce rate.

More women are choosing to break from the stereotypical homemaker status by pursuing higher education levels in an effort to take equal part in supporting their families alongside their husbands.

In 2012, 21 percent of married women had less educated husbands—a threefold increase from 1960, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census data.

One might think women striving for equality at work and home would breed insecurities among male counterparts who have come to identify themselves as breadwinners, but it appears men are actually embracing the shift toward a more egalitarian household.

“In 1977, two-thirds of Americans saw the ideal family arrangement as having the husband as the breadwinner and wife as the homemaker,” according to a July press release issued by the Council on Contemporary Families. “Thirty-five years later, less than one-third held this belief.”

Men not only seem to accept women closing in on their breadwinner status, they might actually prefer it.

“Once upon a time it was commonplace for a divorce to be blamed on the insecurity created by a wife valuing her job and education,” says John Griffith, a divorce attorney in San Diego. “Today it seems men are more accepting of a little help when it comes to their family’s finances, even if it comes from a wife with a better job and education.”

This acceptance may be due in part to socioeconomic impact, since it takes men longer to work their way to an income level that can support a family, according to the New York Times. The added income from a working wife could ease financial strain, which is often cited as the cause for 50 percent of marriages that end in divorce.

Famous marriages involving bread-winning wives and their lucky husbands include Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.

Although we couldn’t be happier to hear news of lowered divorce rates, it doesn’t change the fact that it happens and that it’s not always pretty. Dividing family, pets and property in divorce is tricky, but they are situations an attorney is trained to navigate. Call today if you need legal assistance with divorce, prenuptial agreements or just someone who can show you where to start.