Life After Divorce and The Road To Recovery
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA—What happens after all the divorce papers are filed and a marriage officially ends? The challenging walk down the road to recovery begins.
Traditionally, women and men tend to take dissimilar recovery paths and bounce back from divorce in different ways.
“On average, men often bounce back faster in terms of personal finances,” says San Diego divorce attorney John Griffith. “Women tend to have a stronger grasp of focusing on bringing the family together.”
Griffith, who serves as a family law attorney and divorce lawyer in Oceanside, recognizes the traditional gender differences in recovery, but also believes that it is important for men and women to have a more balanced plan for financial and personal issues.
Women, in particular, should place more attention on financial planning prior to the divorce settlement. Research indicates that male incomes rise after divorce, while women are worse off and can struggle for several years.
An article in The Guardian addresses this financial inequality issue and gives a summary of research carried out by Professor Stephen Jenkins and Professor John Ermisch. Jenkins is a director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and chair of the Council of the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth. Ermisch is the author of “An Economic Analysis of the Family and Lone Parenthood: An Economic Analysis.”
Jenkins’s research debunks the myth that men get fleeced in the divorce process and women live off the proceeds. His findings reveal that post divorce, the available income of men increases by about one third. This positive effect on men’s finances is so significant that they can be lifted out of poverty. Conversely, women are more likely to fall into economic hardship. On average, a woman’s income will fall by more than a fifth after divorce. Additionally, the resentment created by unfair financial settlements can have a ripple effect and negatively impact a woman’s ability to move on with new relationships.
The Jenkins study indicates that women have the power to reduce the negative financial impact of divorce. Women who have worked beforehand and continue working after the divorce see less of a drop in financials once the relationship breaks down.
Ermisch also agrees that women are disproportionately penalized following the end of a marriage. However, his research shows that the margin of unfairness is gradually being reduced. Ermisch attributes this to the increase in the employment rate of women with children.
The works of Jenkins and Ermisch have a common theme. Unequal financial realities have less to do with gender than the way divorcing couples approach the roles of father and mother.
The best way to level the playing field is for men and women to be more alike in their family and work roles. A father who focuses on the family and spends more time with children after the divorce can help bear the brunt of maintenance costs. A mother who gains control of her finances and continues her career or employment after the relationship ends can positively affect her quality of life.
If you are considering divorce and need assistance with financial property division or child custody, the lawyers at Griffith, Young & Lass can help. Call (858) 345-1720 and schedule your consultation today.