Financial and Emotional Implications of Divorce
divorce

Women are often the financial victims of divorce due to the lack of equal pay for equal work in many countries and the fact that many women give up employment after marriage to rear children. They are often left with the burden of looking after the children after the divorce while having to find work in low-paid jobs. Child support collection is a major problem as many fathers do not accept that they have an obligation towards their children. Many national and local governments provide some kind of welfare system for divorced mothers and their children. See single mother for details.

Men are generally the financial victims of divorce due to court-ordered alimony and child support which women often are not required to pay, and the fact that many men are entirely denied custody of their own children. Some men are left with the burden of never seeing their children, which is a major problem as many mothers may relocate the children, not accepting that they have an obligation to provide a stable and supportive family with both parents involved. Although women are less likely to pay child-support, they are more likely to neglect support payments when they are required. Unfortunately, the aspect of family stability is one argument stated against same-sex marriage, since court orders against men and child neglect by women are no longer defensible one-way legal benefits. Recognition of the problems faced by fathers and other relatives is given by self-help groups such as Families Need Fathers.

 

The fact that women often receive primary custody of their children means that some men are are unable to see their children as frequently as they would like, and this is particularly difficult if one ex-spouse or the other moves. Currently in the US, Federal Law makes non-payment of Child Support an automatic felony, whereas a mother’s refusal to let the father see his children in accordance with court decisions is not an act criminalized by the federal government.

 

In the USA, a spouse who resides in a community property state and lacks a prenuptial agreement is at a disadvantage if he or she earns more than the other spouse. In these states, the property is split 50/50 regardless of who earned the money.

 

Thus, the spouse who would be the least well off on their own receives unearned money, property, and/or other assets upon the divorce settlement. Theoretically, a spouse with zero assets would get 50 percent of the other spouse’s assets (possibly not counting pre-marriage assets and inheritance), while two spouses equally wealthy would both keep their share. This is true even if the poorer spouse has committed adultery or initiates the divorce themself. Judges have no power to rectify the situation, and must divide the property evenly no matter how unfair the result may seem. This can generally be avoided if both parties enter into a prenuptial agreement before marriage, though courts sometimes overturn these agreements. While men have traditionally had more assets than women and were negatively affected by community property laws, nowadays more and more women are the wealthier spouse, and are affected as well. Most states in the USA are not community property states. However, some large and populous ones such as California, along with a few smaller ones, are community property states.

 

In some jurisdictions, only a small minority of divorces involve families with children. For example, in Scotland in 1997, there were 2461 divorces involving children but 9761 of couples with no children under 16.

 

What is Divorce | Causes | Financial and Emotional | Legal aspects | Annulment Alimony | Community property