Men and women are different, and divorce is just one more way this is acknowledged.  DMK has facts about women and divorce to shed some light on the reasons why you and your spouse may have a dissimilar opinion and experience regarding the same divorce.

Interesting Facts about Women and Divorce

Study suggests nearly half of all women who divorce face financial surprises 

A 2018 Worthy study surveyed 1,700 women across the country.  Considered important since it was the first large-scale study with emphasis on women's finances and divorce, it was focused on determining financial fears, concerns and opportunities of women who were currently anticipating, in the process or completed with the divorce process.

The study found that 46% of women participants said there were financial surprises that came up during divorce.  The timing was also significant. The study concluded 34% had surprises when the divorce was being considered, 59% when the divorce was being processed and a shocking 48% had financial surprises after their divorce was completed.  

This study indicates many women discover financial findings once they lift the veil of trust for their spouse's financial management at the beginning of a divorce.  Yet, many would benefit from seeking advice from legal and financial experts or conducting proactive research to better understand their personal financial circumstances and the financial impact of their choices prior to- and during the negotiating of their settlement.  

Women worry about money but won't let it stop them

The same 2018 Worthy study found the following:

  • 50% of women feared living on only one income following divorce
  • 22% worried about re-entering the workforce
  • 22% worried about how much the divorce would cost
  • 15% worried about managing finances alone
  • 44% said they wanted to use the opportunity to reinvent themselves
  • 27% wanted to focus on career and becoming self-sufficient
  • 21% focused on freeing themselves from their former spouses' financial mistakes
  • 8% wanted more financial education

'Real Housewives', real high divorce rate 

The divorce percentage for the Real Housewives Franchise is 35% according to McKinley Irvin Family Law, "32 Shocking Divorce Statistics".  The highest rate of divorce was Real Housewives D.C., canceled after the first season, with 100% of the celebrity wives divorced. 

The only Real Housewives show with 0% divorces was Real Housewives Dallas as of 2018.  Some of the other divorce percentages in the statistics included: Real Housewives of...Atlanta 60%, Potomac and New York 50%, Miami 42.9%, Beverly Hills 30.7%, Orange County 23.5%, New Jersey 11.1%.

Despite the glitz, glamour and celebrity lifestyle, love and loss is alive and well.  Divorce can affect women of every class, status and varied financial means.

Women end more marriages

In a study presented by the American Sociological Association, women are more likely to end marriages, while both women and men equally share the "break-up" responsibility for non-marital relationships. 

Women initiated 69% of all divorces according to a study authored by Stanford University associate professor, Michael Rosenfeld.  He went on to dispute the theory that women are prone to end most marriages on the basis of sensitivity.  He suggests the data of the study serves to dispute this since only married women end more relationships than men and that if it was based on being more sensitive to relationship issues the data would be evenly similar in both married and unmarried relationships.

Women care more and have less

According to an AARP article, Life After Divorce a 2009 National Alliance for Caregiving/AARP Survey indicates 66% of caregivers were female.  Women provide more hours of care per week than men, 21.9 hours vs. 17.4 hours.  While older men typically do better financially than women following a divorce, they may be inclined to remarry to establish a caregiver as they age.

Women between ages 54-64 are the primary initiators of divorce

The gray divorce is a term used to describe divorce for spouses over the age of 50. According to AARP, the Baby Boomer generation's divorce rate doubled since 1990, while the United States marital population's divorce rate actually went down.  McKinley Irvin Family Law, "32 Shocking Divorce Statistics" reports women are the initiators of two-thirds of these divorces.

Not all wives receive alimony

Alimony is a type of support made in installments or a lump sum as agreed upon in a settlement agreement or determined by a judge established for either partner to maintain a similar lifestyle as when married.  This is typically granted to one spouse who is financially dependent on the other.  However, despite a spouse's lack of current employment, if she has education, experience, specific training or skills along with the physical aptitude to be employed with a position that pays as well as her spouse, she may not be awarded alimony.  A "vocational expert" is usually relied upon to provide professional feasibility studies or vocational assessments which consider age, education, experience and other factors to determine a potential salary.  

Also, marriages that have been short in duration will command little to no alimony.  The longer the marriage and one spouse's financial dependence on the other, the more likely the alimony and higher the amount.  But there is never a guarantee.  

Not all moms get custody of children

Many people think that if a mother was the primary caregiver during the marriage that she will be entitled to custody when divorced.  In most cases, both parents are entitled to equal time with the children.  If the case goes to court or during the temporary custody hearing to determine custody arrangements during the separation, the judge deems the mother is unfit and/or the overall best interest of the child is to be in the primary custody of the father, then the mother will not be awarded custody.  In most cases, if both parents are fit, shared custody is considered.


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