Wealthy wives working less

Family|March 25th 2016

Wealthy wives have taken more time off work to look after their children in the years since a landmark divorce judgment, an economist has claimed.

Speaking to the Royal Economic Society conference in Brighton, Daniela Piazzalunga of Turin University said that “English married women have on average been doing 1.5 to 2.5 fewer hours of work a week” than they have done in previous years. However, this trend “only happens among richer, more educated couples who can afford to work less in the first place”.

Miss Piazzalunga’s study was based on an analysis of data from more than 9,000 homes over 25 years gathered by the British Household Panel Survey. This is a long-term social and economic study run by the University of Essex.

The shift occurred following White v White, a divorce decision in 2000 in which judges ruled that the assets of a millionaire farming couple should be divided equally, she claimed. Since then, English divorce courts have compensated wives who do not work for the time they put into childcare.

This pattern could lead some to question the need for an equal division of assets in a divorce, Miss Piazzalunga suggested. While it does “protect women who already work less to care for the home”, it could also “reinforce the traditional division of labour” and gradually push women out of the workforce.

In 2014, a survey of women by the Education Department found that as many as six in ten would work fewer hours and a third would give up their job entirely once they had children if they could afford it. Last year, a similar survey by the Business, Innovation and Skills Department found that a majority of women believe nine months is the minimum amount of time for a new mother to stay home from work. In that study, more than a quarter claimed mothers should not be under any pressure to ever return to their jobs.

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(5)

  1. Luke says:

    I find it very revealing that Miss Piazzalunga says this:
    .
    ===
    “This pattern could lead some to question the need for an equal division of assets in a divorce, Miss Piazzalunga suggested. While it does “protect women who already work less to care for the home”, it could also “reinforce the traditional division of labour” and gradually push women out of the workforce.”
    ===
    .
    Nobody is ‘push(ing) women out of the workforce’ – that suggests force when what is actually happening is that women are electing not to be in the workforce because they have better options. Whether they should have those options as a result of divorce is a whole different ‘ball of wax’ but it is not an option they are losing, it is an option they are currently gaining.
    .
    Clearly some women’s choices are not fitting in with what Miss Piazzalunga deems acceptable and she is determined to socially engineer them back on the ‘true path of enlightenment’…

  2. Andy says:

    Funny that..
    The results are based on how much the courts have awarded the Mother at the fathers costs..that’s why they don’t do sod all…
    Plus the benefits they are entitled to..So to sum it..why even bother to work at all..”Gold Digger”springs to mind…

  3. JamesB says:

    Men’s also go around then. Point being would be nice to be young for a while with your spouse and life partner I suggest.

  4. JamesB says:

    Mandatory pre-nups also, or fairer family law like Scottish family law if things go wrong.

  5. Jason says:

    My wife is working while I am stay home with our first child. She makes way more money, so it made sense for me to stay home with the kid, although we wish the roles were reversed. After hearing all my life how difficult it is to be a stay at home mother, I can say it is absolute bull. Initially the first few weeks are rough, but once you figure out a routine it’s cake; wake up, breakfast with the baby, clean house as baby plays, read Wall Street Journal to the baby (it’s the only way I get to read it and gets the baby use to reading), play time with baby, 2 hour nap time for me and the baby, 2 HOURS, lunch with baby, walk to the park and get to listen to moms complain “about how hard it is to be a stay at home mom” as I roll my eyes. And every other theatre has “mommy and me movies” so we go to the movies 2-3 times a week. I can’t believe staying at home with a kid and maintaining a high demand career is seen as equal in the eyes of the law.

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