Money can cause a lot of problems within a relationship and is often cited as one of the top reasons for divorce. Researchers in Sweden looked into the effects of sudden wealth and were surprised to find that it impacts men and women differently. They discovered that men were more likely to get married and have children after a sudden wealth event, while the same circumstances made women more likely to divorce their current husband.
The New York University, Stockholm School of Economics, and the University of Barcelona conducted a study. To find study subjects who fit the criteria of coming into the same kind of wealth suddenly, the researchers turned to the Swedish lottery system. It was perfect for providing a random selection of participants due to the random nature of selecting lottery winners. Over 10 years, they followed the paths of couples who won at least a million Swedish Krona or roughly $89,500.
Results of Swedish Study Data
It is a commonly held notion that healthy, stable finances increase the prospect of marriage. Researchers were also interested in determining if couples experiencing sudden wealth would stay together longer. The study seemed to weaken both theories because the results were inconsistent for men and women. Here is a summary of some of the study’s findings:
- Married men who won the lottery reduced their risk of divorce by as much as 40 percent during the 10-year study.
- Unmarried male participants were around 30 percent more likely compared to the general population to get married in the five years after winning the lottery. It is possible to attribute this to the men being seen as more attractive partners due to the healthy state of their finances.
- Male participants were also 13.5 percent more likely to father a child in the ten years covered by the study.
- Women who won the lottery doubled their likelihood of divorce in the two years immediately following the windfall. However, the effect faded over time. This appears to support the idea that financial freedom enabled the women to leave or end marriages that were already unhappy or in trouble.
Interestingly, the study showed that the influx of sudden wealth had no influence whatsoever on whether women were more or less apt to marry and have children.
Economic Booms and Divorce
In the United States, the general divorce rate tends to rise when the nation experiences an economic boom, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. When incomes rise, more couples experience difficulties that impact their marriage, and they also have the means to consider the divorce process. In contrast, during an economic downturn, when household finances are tighter and more uncertain, couples may try to wait or work things out.
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If you are considering a divorce, our compassionate Marlton divorce lawyers at Burnham Douglass can answer all your questions. Call us at 856-751-5505 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Evesham Township, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic City.