Thoughts On a ‘New Era of Marriage’ and Implications for Divorce


The New York Times ‘The Upshot’ column recently explored current demographic trends in an article titled So Long Cinderella: New Era of Marriage Fuels Class Divide. It began by stating:

“The Don Drapers of the world used to marry their secretaries. Now they marry fellow executives, who could very well earn more than they do.”

While many would view this trend as evidence of social progress for women — the article also mentions that “it has been a long time since women said they went to college to earn an ‘Mrs. degree'” — the story highlights that this trend is not all good news. In observing “the stickiness of gender roles at work and home” the data suggest, “marriage significantly depresses women’s earnings, and the arrival of children has an even stronger effect.”

In addition, in marriages where wives earn more than their husbands, the female partner also does “significantly more of the housework and child care than their husband, perhaps to make their husband feel less threatened, economists said.”

I believe the effect of these trends in divorce proceedings is evident. I have found that there has been an increase in the incidence of women paying alimony and the prospect of this speaks to a need for women to value themselves and their time in the same way men do. I discussed this phenomenon back in 2007 and invite you to take a closer look at my analysis by reading my Q & A from First Wives World. It is remarkable how things have not changed much in close to a decade!

Women Increasingly Pay Alimony