Wife as Main Breadwinner, Less Likely to Divorce by Shakeel Mir | The Law House


Wife as Main Breadwinner, Less Likely to Divorce by Shakeel Mir

By in All Blogs, Family Law Category on March 11th, 2014

A surprising recent survey says that where the wife is the main breadwinner couples are less likely to divorce, or are at least no less stable than where the man is the main breadwinner. The survey also states that couples who have nursery age children 80% less likely to separate in such cases. Interestingly, as the first child gets older, the number of mothers as main or equal breadwinner gets smaller. Apparently, these figures apply more so in cohabiting than married couples.

I can see that in a case where the wife is the main or equal breadwinner, that the family would be as stable as any other family, but are they less likely to divorce? And why should these figures change when the first child get older? Is this because today’s families have come to rely so much on Mum’s income that this keeps the family stronger? Or does the mother’s relatively high income mean they can afford nursery school fees without putting pressure on the family finances, and therefore the relationship?

What does this say about co-habiting couples? Perhaps, that because they are unmarried, the parties to the relationship are more independent financially?

My view has always been that when a child was of nursery school age, the mother would, where possible, prefer to not work, or reduce the amount of hours at work. Once the child returned to primary school, mum would feel more confident about going back to full time work when their child(ren) became older.

I’m not a big fan of surveys, as the sample might be limited, or people say things about their relationships, which might not give the whole story, but this does challenge the theory that families in which women go out to work undermine the institute of marriage.

I also think that that the good news from this, is that women can now go back to work, as soon as they feel ready, after having a child, without feeling that their commitment to the relationship is being questioned. In this economic climate, this can only be a good thing.

If you have reached that stage where you are in the process of divorcing or considering divorce, and would like  expert practical advice, please contact me, Shakeel Mir on 020 8899 6620 or smir@thelawhouse.com