What is the Divorce Gap?
Contrary to popular belief, women who worked before, during or after their
divorce see a 20% decline in income when their marriages end. Research
performed by Professor Stephen Jenkins, a professor at the London School
of Economics, found that men generally see a 30% increase in their income
after divorce. In addition to his findings regarding men’s income,
Jenkins also discovered the poverty rate for separated women is triple
that of separated men.
Why is this happening?
This main reason women suffer more than men after a divorce is that women
traditionally leave their careers to raise children. Leaving their careers
makes them dependent upon the income their husbands provide for the family
and any other savings they may have. When couples decide to divorce, hiring
a lawyer can be expensive.
Divorce Magazine estimates the cost of divorce can range anywhere from $8,500 to $100,000
depending on the situation. If the split is amicable, divorce can cost
anywhere from $250 to $3,000. Women who have become dependent upon the
income of their spouse are unable to afford to hire their own lawyer and
are often coerced into making unsustainable financial decisions.
Importance of Livable Spousal Support
These women are often left managing the children while the divorce is finalized
meaning they must pay rent, bills and provide food for the family which
can add up quickly. One woman’s spouse was ordered to pay her $1,000
a month while their divorce paperwork was finalized but she explains that
amount just isn’t enough to live on. “I can’t afford
groceries and basic utility bills anymore. I’m really scared,”
she says. Divorce lawyers understand that spouses in this situation can
make their case to a judge based on their contribution to the household.
A stay-at-home parent could say, “I had these work skills but I
took care of the family instead of going back to work.” This could
increase the chances of a judge awarding a livable amount of spousal support,
but many women do not know this.
Mediation over Litigation
Another option divorcing couples have is mediation over litigation. Mediation
can be a significantly cheaper alternative to litigation divorce. In mediation,
both parties sit down with a professional mediator and try to come to
an agreement regarding property, child custody, spousal support and child
support. This option only really works if both parties can come to an
easy agreement regarding the aforementioned topics. One woman explained
her disappointment with the mediation process stating that it only “delayed
the inevitable litigation.”
Struggling With Your Divorce?
Are you woman struggling financially with your divorce? Our compassionate
Pasadena divorce attorney can help you get the legal representation you
need to get your life back on track. We offer timely, affordable legal
solutions for families through their divorce. Contact our offices to schedule
your free consultation.