A recent article in The Atlantic looked at the interesting topic of the financial gap between men and women in divorce. As the article points out, while the common assumption is that women come out better than men in divorce, women actually generally see a decline in income after divorce while men see an increase in income after divorce. In addition, divorced women are significantly more likely than men to be in poverty after divorce than men.
Some research shows that the primary reason for the financial decline of women after divorce is that women who leave the workforce for a time will have lower earnings when they enter back into the workforce. There are other reasons for women’s financial struggles as well, though.
For one thing, divorce can be costly depending on where proceedings take place, the issues couples have to work through, and a couple’s willingness to quickly resolve their differences. Unfortunately, the costs of divorce tend to fall disproportionately on women, particularly when the woman has custody of the children and the father cannot afford court-ordered child support and alimony payments.
While divorce does come with certain costs for both partners, working with an experienced advocate is critical to ensure a spouse’s rights are protected and his or her interests advocated. An attorney can, for instance, help ensure that a spouse understands his or her entitlements and does not settle for less than what they should receive under the law. This is important for the financially weaker party in divorce, which is often the woman.
While zealous advocacy is a central goal of working with an experienced attorney, it is also important to keep in mind the importance of effective resolution of disagreements. In our next post, we’ll explore this issue a bit more.