The divorce rate for first marriages in the United States remains at a high level, and more than two-thirds of those divorces are initiated by women. There are several reasons why women are more likely than men to initiate a divorce and why working with a divorce lawyer can help to secure a comfortable future.
1. Lower Marriage Satisfaction
Although some women want to enter marriage more than men, once they are married, they might be less likely to be satisfied. Low marriage satisfaction involves many factors, including a lack of respect, insufficient trust, a decrease in shared interests, different political ideologies, poor emotional connection, and not enough affection. Incompatibility also plays a role in marital dissatisfaction. Women tend to want compatibility on more of life’s important issues than men.
2. Less Financial Harm Than Expected
In previous generations, few women worked after marriage. This is no longer the case. Today, divorce causes less financial harm to women than they might expect. While women on average still earn less than men, even in the same career or job, they are less likely to be in dire financial straits after a divorce than they were decades ago. Increasing educational levels and a greater number of women in the workforce mean that a divorced woman can provide for herself in many cases.
3. Reduced Reliance on Men
Women no longer have to rely on men for access to resources. When looking at human evolution, females tended to stay closer to home, tend to the children, gather nearby food and water, and handle the domesticated animals while males traveled a greater distance to hunt and secure other resources. Today, women have more access to resources. Laws passed in the last century allow women to have a bank account and credit card without a man’s permission. Women can also sign a lease, buy a home, and take out a loan without a male co-signer.
4. More Self-awareness
Past generations of women were taught to cater to the needs of men. This started from a young age when girls had to serve their brothers or father at home. Today, more women are taught to be self-reliant and self-aware. This greater sense of independence means women aren’t as afraid to be divorced.
5. Social Changes
Society doesn’t look down on divorced women like it used to. Birth control and access to education have allowed women to take charge of their futures. These social changes reduce the guilt that women feel for wanting out of their marriages.
6. Mismatch in Marriage Benefits
Heterosexual marriage remains a gendered institution. After a man and woman get married, the man reaps more benefits than the woman. Social expectations typically result in married women doing more hours per week of household chores and childcare than married men, even if both partners have full-time jobs. This often leads to a buildup of stress, frustration, and resentment that eats away at the core of the marriage.
7. Out-of-court Options
Today’s divorce process offers more out-of-court settlement options compared to what women could access a generation ago. It is often no longer necessary for a divorce lawyer to litigate a case in court. By choosing other options, such as mediation or collaborative law, women can keep their personal business out of the public’s eye. These alternatives can cost less, require less time, and help to improve communication for future co-parenting and other needs.
When you’re considering a divorce, a no-court option may be a helpful solution. Staying out of court takes some of the stress out of the process and may help you set up a collaborative communication system for the future. Consulting with divorce lawyer Joanne Kleiner provides you with information about your rights and how Pennsylvania divorce cases work so that you can make an informed decision about how to move forward. To make an appointment, call the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania at (215) 886-1266. You may also request a consultation by completing our contact form, and an associate from our office will reach out to you.