The roles assumed by men and women in California at the start of a marriage could play a role in that marriage’s longevity according to a study by Swedish researchers. Marriages in which women start out making less than half of their husband’s salary or have no income and all and later embark on a successful career are more at risk than those in which husbands and wives start out on equal footing.

In more traditional relationships, women may put off developing their own careers in favor of relocating for their husband’s and taking care of the children and the home. When they start to focus on their careers and their salaries surpass what their husbands are making, their husbands may become resentful and defensive. They might try to control any household spending. Others may start working less, but those who do often do not step in to take on the child care and chores. This can create resentment that leads to divorce.

Couples may still be able to resolve this situation. They should try to work together as a team and communicate clearly and specifically about what they need. They should also prioritize time that is free from work obligations and children.

If couples are unable to resolve these issues, they may decide divorce is the right solution. The next step will be to negotiate property division and child custody. In California, most assets and debts acquired by either person during the marriage are usually considered community property unless the couple signed a prenuptial agreement. This means that assets such as bank accounts and retirement accounts may be divided even if only person contributed to them.