Couples in Florida who start their marriages in “traditional” gender roles might be more likely to divorce if their roles shift. A study by researchers in Sweden found that divorce is more likely for women who either do not work outside the home at all or earn less than half of what their husbands do and then experience career growth.
There are several reasons this might be the case. In some instances, women may have delayed the development of their careers because they are raising children or moving to support their husbands in their jobs. During the beginning of the marriage, they may pick up the bulk of the child care and housework. When there is a shift in responsibilities, however, the husbands often do not step in to help with those tasks.
Another dynamic that may emerge is one in which husbands resent the wife’s success. They could become more controlling, or they might cut back on their own work, reasoning that they do not need to earn as much. However, this may not be accompanied by taking on more household duties. Good communication is important in maintaining relationship equality, but both parties must be willing to make changes.
When this does not happen and divorce is the next step, couples must work out an agreement for property division and child custody. While spousal support may have been traditionally paid from a husband to a wife, in some divorces in which the wife has become the breadwinner, those roles could be reversed. Dividing marital assets can be complex if the couple has a significant amount of property. However, lawyers could negotiate agreements instead of going to court.