For people in West Virginia who decide to divorce, financial issues and disagreements may be some of the most common factors that lead to the end of a marriage. Disagreements about how to save or spend money or how to plan for the future may lead to long-term rifts, especially when one partner sees the other as controlling or irresponsible. These problems can be magnified when one spouse brings in a significantly higher share of the income as this can exacerbate feelings of inequality. At times, the higher-earning partner may also be more likely to neglect or exclude the input of the lower-earning partner.
These already tense financial issues may be exacerbated by social expectations about sex, gender and earning power. While women have made great strides in the workplace in recent decades, many still expect that husbands will continue to be the higher earner in relationships. This could play a role in undermining some relationships. One study indicates that couples where the wife earns more than the husband are 33% more likely to divorce.
There are a number of issues that could contribute to the increased likelihood of divorce, and not all of them may be negative. Women in abusive or unhappy relationships are more likely to leave when they are financially stable and able to support themselves. Similarly, men are less likely to be stay-at-home parents, so even lower-earning men in these relationships are more likely to have independent incomes. The gap could simply indicate a lack of financial pressure to preserve a dead marriage.
Just like financial conflicts can lead to divorce, the financial fallout after the end of a marriage can be significant. A divorcing spouse may work with a family law attorney to negotiate a settlement on a range of issues, including property division and spousal support.