It’s no surprise that money causes conflict for couples, even for those who are not married. But when you add in the dynamics of marriage, stress levels rise. That’s why money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce.
But recent research looked at divorce rates by income level and found that while college-educated and affluent Americans are more likely to stay married and enjoy stable marriages, couples with lower annual incomes face higher rates of divorce, family instability, and life-long singleness.
Of course, there are other factors that can impact finances in a marriage, such as salary, household income, education, and gender.
Higher Income, Lower Divorce Rates
Looking at divorce stats along with household income, researchers found that divorce rates decrease as couples’ income rises. Statistically, once a couple earns a household income of around $200K, divorce rates hold at around 30%.
Interestingly, the divorce rate does not decline again until a household income reaches $600K, at which point it drops to 25%. The takeaway? Earning higher incomes can reduce the risk of divorce, but exceptionally high incomes can threaten the stability of marriage.
By contrast, divorce rates for couples who are working-class or below the poverty level are high. One study found as many as 46% of adults ages 18 to 55 who are poor or working poor have divorced. These high rates of divorce also translate into more family instability and single parenthood for children in working-class communities.
Researchers also discovered that divorce rates in marriages where one partner is unemployed are similar for both men and women. However, the situation changes notably for women who have no source of income.
For instance, in 2022, 21% of unemployed men were divorced, compared to 22% of women. But that number jumps to 40% for women who lack a college degree or the means to earn and save money. Interestingly, when women have financial autonomy, the divorce rate once again decreases to 20%.
It’s important to note that every marriage is unique and the decision to get divorced is based on personal situations. But if money is one of your reasons for proceeding with divorce, consulting with an experienced family law attorney may provide the perspective and information to guide you.
You are More Than Just a Statistic
Any couple getting divorced has their own unique and varied reasons for separating. Statistics alone would never be a reason why any couple would get divorced. This type of life-altering decision requires careful consideration. And working with experienced attorneys, like those at Buncher Law in Orange County, understand the complexities. They also work with a myriad of highly skilled partners who can assist with related financial, emotional, and business complexities such as those needing a high asset divorce firm.