Many people see financial success as a positive for their relationship. For instance, maybe they’ve heard that divorce is more likely after job loss, which is true. Perhaps they’re just thinking about how financial stress often causes couples to have conflicts that may eventually lead to divorce. Wealth can reduce some types of financial stress, so it seems like it would prevent a divorce.
But what research has actually found is that being wealthy may increase a person’s odds of divorce. A strong economy usually sees higher divorce rates. Why does this happen?
The role of financial independence
Often, the issue is just that both individuals feel that their wealth gives them a level of independence. Perhaps the couple has a net worth of $10 million. Even if things aren’t split up perfectly how they would prefer, they’re still likely going to walk away from the marriage with millions of dollars in assets. They can make their own financial decisions and be assured of a level of security on their own.
On the other hand, another couple may just have a few thousand dollars in savings. They live paycheck to paycheck, and they live off of two incomes. This couple will experience a lot more financial stress, but they may be less likely to get divorced. They need to have two incomes, so divorce seems risky, and they won’t be taking very many financial assets with them out of the marriage.
This is just one of the ways that finances and divorce are linked. Those who are going through this process must be aware of their legal options.