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Does being wealthy lower one’s odds of divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2023 | Divorce

It’s clear that money issues and divorce are linked. If you look at any list of the top reasons for divorce in the United States, it’s going to include financial trouble. It comes up a lot, along with things like infidelity, as a consistent reason why spouses opt to file for divorce.

What many people assume is that only not having enough money is a stressor for a relationship. Outsiders may assume that it’s a lack of money that leads to divorce, and so they also assume that being wealthy lowers the odds of a marriage ending. Here are two reasons why this isn’t necessarily true.

Financial compatibility

The real challenge at the heart of a marriage is often financial compatibility. It’s not about how much money a couple has, but about how two people work together and how they view money. For example, two people without much more than they need to make ends meet could still be happy and content in their relationship if they are both focused on using their money in wise and necessary ways. But if one person begins wasting money or spending it frivolously, that relationship could erode. It’s not the amount of money that the couple has that matters, but their relationship to both it and each other.

Living within their means

Some studies actually show being wealthy increases the odds of divorce. One reason for this is that wealthy couples may still live at the edge of their means. They may have a more expensive car or a larger house than a couple with less money, but they may still be living paycheck to paycheck because their standard of living is just so high. They may have a similar level of financial stress as the less affluent couple, despite having far more money.

Additionally, wealthy couples often have a level of financial security that can make divorce possible. Some people stay married because they know they need to have two incomes. But a couple that is already financially secure doesn’t have to worry about that, necessarily.

At the end of the day, divorce and finances are connected on numerous levels. And, for a variety of reasons, a couple’s financial reality can influence the divorce process and each spouse’s future moving forward. As a result, couples from all socio-economic circumstances can generally benefit from seeking legal guidance proactively in the event of a divorce.