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Study: A woman's success can impact her marriage

Married couples go through a multitude of changes over the years. Sometimes, these changes make it impossible for them to continue as a couple. When one spouse becomes considerably more successful and begins to earn a lot more money than the other, that can upset the entire balance of the marriage. Even in the 21st century, when that spouse is a woman, it can doom the relationship.

A recent study by two Swedish academics found evidence that when women who begin their marriages earning less than their husbands or not working outside the home are appointed or elected to important positions, their chances of divorce increase. The researchers, who work for two different Swedish universities, looked at 30 years of the extensive data maintained by the Swedish government on its citizens to reach their conclusions.

They found that married women who worked in the private sector and became chief executive officers (CEOs) of companies with 100 employees or more had twice the chance of getting divorced within three years as married men who became CEOs.

A similar phenomenon seems to apply to women who achieve success in the public sector. The study found that women who won elections for positions as parliamentarians and mayors were 7 percent more likely to get divorced as women who lost their elections. The women who won their elections had double the chance of divorce of other women in their age range with similar education. Meanwhile, men's electoral success or failure had no statistical impact on their divorce rate.

As noted, these differences only seemed to impact couples who had started out in "gender traditional" roles, with the husband's career taking priority over the wife's. This was gauged based on the amount of parental leave used by each spouse. In Sweden, couples get a total of six months parental leave after they have a child. That can be divided between them in whatever way they choose. Those couples where the women took at least 80 percent of that leave were deemed "gender traditional" for the study.

Women who earn considerably more than their husbands need to be careful to protect their individual assets and their share of marital assets when they divorce. It's essential to have an experienced Arizona family law attorney on your side to provide guidance through the process.

Source: Fortune, "Being Promoted May Double Women's Odds of Getting Divorced," Valentina Zarya, March 05, 2018

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