Is It Better Financially to Stay Married?

Some 2.8 million men and women go through divorce each year. Studies indicate that the first year after divorce a woman’s income can drop almost 27 percent, while the man’s drops up to 10 percent. Financial stability is definitely an issue after divorce.

If you are in dire financial straits, you might be asking yourself if it’s a better idea for you and your spouse to stay married, rather than get the divorce that you had initially considered. The question is, if you are miserable in the marriage, and have done everything you can to resolve your differences, then it may be time to let go.

Some people find that living in a loveless marriage impacts their ability to be their best in the workplace. They may even find that they are sabotaging important career opportunities, which may be tied to the misery in the home. Being married to someone you are unhappy with can be incredibly depressing, as well. You are the only one who really knows if / when you are ready to truly separate and divorce.

Additionally, perhaps your spouse has lost his or her job, and your house is underwater, so you may be carrying a lot of the economic weight, which can be burdening you unduly.

Should you decide to divorce, be clear ahead of time what you need to do to put yourself in line for economic stability as you transition into life as a single man or woman. In other words, prepare for your divorce, just as you would prepare for any other life-changing action. There are significant costs to divorce, including therapist costs, legal bills, court costs, and new living expenses that you will be paying on your own.

Consider the timing of your separation. If you’re due for a big bonus at work at year’s end, you might consider separating before year’s end. On the other hand, if your spouse is expecting a bonus and you know about it, why not wait out the marriage till the bonus comes, if it’s in the near future. As well, if you have been married 10 years, rather than nine, you will be eligible to collect social Security on your ex’s earnings record. You might consider purchasing all that you need before you separate, including dental issues such as braces for the kids as well as car maintenance or replacement.

Reasons Unhappily Married People Stay Married

According to a recent study by law firm slater and Gordon, of the United Kingdom, the top reason that spouses who are unhappy remain together is that they are afraid to divorce. One-fifth of the 2,000 married respondents said they would stay married unless their could somehow guarantee their financial stability after divorce.

The top five reasons people stay in unhappy marriages include:

5. Won’t have financial security
4. Too big an impact on the kids
3. Hope that things will get better
2. Fear that they will regret it after
1. Not sure they have the courage to go through with it

According to a long-term study by Kenneth Couch, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor at UConn, divorce does have impact on the economic well being of women. The study, which covered 40 years across 2,000 women’s life spans, indicates that family structure does seem to have significant impact on a woman’s financial well-being. Women who divorced in the 70s lost ground economically, unless they married again.

Wondering the Pros/Cons of Staying Married for Financial Reasons? Skilled Jenkintown Child Support and Family Law Attorney

To schedule a completely confidential consultation with a knowledgeable and caring family law attorney at Joanne E. Kleiner & Associates, in Jenkintown, PA, please call 215-886-1266 or you can fill out our intake form and we will contact you.

Keeping you focused on the big picture and the issues that matter most…Joanne E. Kleiner & Associates. We serve clients throughout Montgomery, Bucks, Philadelphia counties, and the surrounding areas in matters involving Social Services, Child Protection, child custody, support, divorce, and other family law matters.

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Montgomery County Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals