New Study Shows Women with More Education Than Their Husbands No Longer Face a Higher Divorce Risk


Traditionally, marriages in which the woman had a higher level of education than her husband were thought to be more prone to divorce. However, a new study titled "The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Trends in Marital Dissolution" has found that this is no longer the case.

The study, which appears in the August issue of the American Sociological Review, looked at heterosexual U.S. marriages from 1950 to 2009 and found that there was no higher risk of divorce for couples in which the woman had a higher level of education than her husband if the marriage occurred after 1990. However, the study did find that marriages in which both spouses have an equal level of education are more stable than marriages in which the husband has a higher level of education than his wife. For both men and women, having a bachelor’s degree or higher is associated with a significantly lower risk of divorce.

The results of this study are interesting to Pasadena divorce lawyers because educational attainment is typically correlated with higher levels of income. A woman who is more educated than her husband is often earning more and thus may be liable for alimony and/or child support if the relationship ends. In a relationship where both spouses have the education needed to find suitable employment, there is less of a need for a divorce settlement that treats one spouse as financially dependent upon the other. However, in a divorce involving two high earning spouses, the couple may have assets that could significantly complicate the settlement process.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of whether or not you have a higher level of education than your spouse, the best way to protect your interests in a divorce is to enlist the services of a skilled family law attorney. It’s natural to be sad, angry, confused, and emotional when you’re ending your marriage, but divorce is essentially a business transaction. Having a qualified Pasadena divorce attorney on your side helps ensure that you receive a settlement that will best allow you to move forward with the next phase of your life. To learn more, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at