Does Gender Affect the Outcome of a Divorce?

Even in our modern times, some believe that men and women are treated differently in a divorce. The stereotype is that women receive greater benefits in a courtroom decision. We often imagine a divorced man living alone in a small, smokey apartment, barely scraping by.

Assumptions cannot be trusted. Is there any truth to the idea that men and women have unequal outcomes in a divorce? The answer is yes, but not in the ways you may think. Typically, gender does not affect courtroom rulings. However, men and women appear to have disparate outcomes once the divorce is finalized. For the purposes of this article, we are focusing on traditional, male/female marriages.

Gender and Courtroom Rulings

Modern family law attempts to avoid making decisions that favor a man or a woman. It uses various formulas and standards that bypass assumption, going to the heart of making fair decisions. Here are some examples of how it makes its decisions, regardless of gender.

Property Division

Florida uses an “equitable property” model to divide property. Courts decide who is most deserving of property, regardless of sex. For example, the stay-at-home parent may be the father. He keeps the house clean and maintained. He looks after the cars, pets, and other shared items. In a divorce, the court could easily rule that he is entitled to more property, since he is its primary caretaker.

Spousal Support

These days, we don’t assume that women need more support after a divorce. There are many couples in which women make more money. Let’s take our stay-at-home father as an example. In a divorce, he could be left destitute. He has no income, and it may take him quite some time to get back on his feet, especially if he has custody of the kids. A fair court will not assume that he owes the wife money, and it will give him a reasonable amount of spousal support.

Child Support

Ostensibly, a child support ruling includes each parent’s income. Gender shouldn’t matter at all. Each parent contributes. The custodial parent supports them through their income, and the non-custodial parent pays their portion to the other. This is not money exchanged between adults. It is strictly meant for the kids. If the receiving parent is using child support money on themselves, they can get into legal trouble.

Personal Bias in Courtroom Rulings

In a perfect world, judges would have no bias toward anyone. They would make their rulings strictly by legal standards. Unfortunately, judges are only people, and people tend to make assumptions. Some are overtly biased, and others may have biases of which they aren’t aware.

Your lawyer works within a circle of judges and attorneys. They should know which ones generally favor one sex over the other. As such, they will tailor their arguments to help bypass biases, helping reach a fair conclusion.

Men and Women Post Divorce

Recent studies show that the impact of divorce on gender takes place after everything is finalized.

Economic Effects

Men tend to do better financially after a divorce. They can remain financially stable, and many advance, becoming more prosperous.

Women, on the other hand, typically struggle more. They average a 27% decline in their finances. This may be due to many women receiving child custody, hindering their career advancement. It could also simply be the result of the disparity between men and women in the workplace.

Mental and Physical Health Effects

This is where the differences get interesting. Studies show that married men are generally healthier. Therefore, when they get divorced, a man’s health declines more than a woman’s.

This may not be the only explanation for the decline. According to studies, women are more aware of troubles in their marriage. They may be hurting during the marriage, suffering health problems as a result. Men are generally taken by surprise in a divorce. This can lead to depression, loneliness, anger, and many other emotional states that affect physical health. Women, on the other hand, tend to be more relieved. They have been freed from a stressful situation, and now they can experience life more fully, on their terms.

Social Effects

Although court rulings should not favor one sex over the other, there are still some gender divides. Women are more likely to win custody of the kids. This has a direct impact on their social lives. More of their time is spent at home with the kids, limiting their social interactions.

Unencumbered by kids, Men tend to have more active social lives after a divorce. They hang out with friends, meet new people, and so on.

We see these effects carry over into dating life as well. Ten years after a divorce, 70% of men have re-partnered, with only 50% of women doing the same. Child custody may not be the only reason for this disparity. Unfortunately, age affects dating for women more than men. After a long marriage, each person is older, affecting their desirability in the dating market. Older men still find it easier to partner than older women.

Housing Effects

This is another area where modern times have not caught up. Women are still more likely to be dependent on their spouses than men. After a divorce, this may cause them to gain more of the marital assets. They can also inherit the payments that come with the property. Having been out of the job market for years, women may not be able to keep up with these financial responsibilities. As a result, women are more likely to lose housing after a divorce.

Get Help from An Attorney

Seeing these statistics, you may feel fearful of the future. If you’re worried about your life after divorce, consult a skilled lawyer today. Tell them your fears, and let them help create a plan that keeps you safe and healthy. If the matter must go to court, your attorney has strategies that will help provide safety nets for you.

For help with divorce outcomes in Orlando, contact our office today for a free consultation. You can reach us online or call us at (407) 315-2006.

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