The conventional optics of social stratification research—in which the social position of the family unit is seen as being determined by the status of the male head of the household—have been challenged since the early 1970s. Similarly, economic research which views the household as a single unit has been questioned. Changing family circumstances and the increased share of couples in which the woman has higher earnings, education, and socioeconomic status mean that both these perspectives needs reformulating. The authors illustrate these issues using the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey (EU-SILC) for five Central European countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria) and draw on its 2006–2016 time series to present the characteristics of partners in couples and the relations between them. Female primacy has increased either in earnings, education, or socio-economic category in all countries except Hungary. The authors use the EU-SILC 2010 ‘Module on Intra-household Sharing of Resources’ to test the hypothesis that a direct link exists between partners’ social status split and separate welfare status, where female primacy in relevant characteristics is taken as a proxy for social status split, while separate welfare status is indicated by partners’ budgetary discretion. The hypothesis is confirmed for Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, but not for Hungary and Poland. Apart from the personal factors of social status split, two family factors are strongly related to the probability of the budgetary discretion of couple partners across all countries: household income and marital status.