This paper will address theoretical aspects of informal work within dual-earner families. The basic idea behind the problems in focus is that conditions for negotiations within families are in a process of change due to many structural and cultural circumstances. We are approaching the problem area with a gender perspective in a context of family sociology, and the types of questions that we are asking are fundamental to an understanding of the changing conditions for the ways in which families function in contemporary society. How do men and women deal with issues of family obligations or family commitments concerning the provision of practical support? How do men and women differ in their capacities to handle power, autonomy and dependence within a family circle?