We’ve all seen the clips on entertainment shows or read the headlines of magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store about spouses of celebrities, sports figures and business leaders receiving multi-million dollar settlements. Few of us live in this rarified world of mansions and private jets, but these settlements have perpetuated a myth that in a divorce situation, women benefit more than they should. The truth is that most women are financially disadvantaged from the settlements they receive.
The 20% Decline
Most divorced women see at least a 20% decline in their income after the end of their marriages. In contrast, most men see a rise in their income of approximately 30%. The poverty rate for divorced and separated women is nearly 3 times that of men.
Husband and wife vs. father and mother
The gap in post-divorce income is directly related to whether the wife stopped working to raise the children. Even those women who continued to work after having children often took lower paying jobs that offered flexible hours to accommodate the needs of the children.
Women who had high-paying jobs, good credit ratings and substantial savings often stop working to raise their children. Their savings become part of the marital assets, and their credit rating is joined with their husband’s, or it disappears altogether. This loss of potential income is rarely recognized or even mentioned in divorce proceedings.
Childcare and Income
Childcare is another issue that can limit post-divorce women from achieving financial stability. Women who stopped working after having children are hindered by lack of current experience when they attempt to reenter the job market. This situation is exacerbated by the fact they are less likely to be promoted or to receive bonuses due to their time away from work to address childcare needs.
In addition, despite joint custody agreements, women continue to bear a disproportionate share of the financial and time burden of raising children. Women are still generally expected to be available to care for a sick child or manage dental appointments while men continue to work.
Hire an attorney who understands
Our experienced Minnesota family law attorneys understand the challenges faced by women when structuring support and visitation agreements. Let us help you through this process. Call us for a confidential case consultation at (763) 783-5146.