Divorce affect us all in many different ways, in part II “Divorce and How it Affect Us,” I will show the similarities and differences of how divorce affects us: as individuals, legally and financially !!!
How Divorce Affects Women
The psychological effects of divorce on women are far-reaching, but one of the most basic emotions is guilt. This can be true if the woman initiated the divorce or not. Women in both situations may feel at fault for not working hard enough to make the marriage work, explains life coach Cindy Holbrook on her website for divorced women. If the woman initiated divorce, she may feel a sense of guilt for the demise of the marriage. This is especially true if there are children involved as women may feel as though they are responsible for breaking up a family and causing emotional trauma.
The end of a marriage is devastating to both parties. Women, especially, may feel saddened by the sudden loss of their marriage. Their dreams for the future may be wrapped up in their marriage, and now that hope for the future appears to be gone. Increased responsibility combined with the realization that the life they envisioned no longer exists correlates with the fact that women are more likely to suffer from depression three years after a divorce, suggests Rocky Mountain Family Council.
After a divorce, one may experience a great deal of anxiety. The future is uncertain and therefore, so is one’s security. Women may experience more stress as they may have solely or mostly relied on their husbands for financial support. Trying to figure out how to support themselves, and often times a family, may prove to be difficult. Despite this, there are many things one can do to lessen anxiety including eating healthy, meditating and exercising.
Some of the effects of divorce can affect women’s lives positively. There are many factors that influence this, but many women report feeling a sense of relief especially if the relationship was particularly stressful towards the end. Mediator Kathleen O’Connell Corcoran explains that women may have a greater support system than men. Because of this, when they experience setbacks, they are likely to turn to them for comfort and guidance and move through the issues. Finally, women may be more likely to expand their personal and professional roles, suggests Corcoran. In the past, they may have limited themselves by focusing solely on their duties as wives and mothers. Now, they may seek out new careers, volunteer opportunities and social networking that will increase their esteem.(LiveStrong.com)
How It Affect Women Cont:
Women initiate divorce twice as often as men
90% of divorced mothers have custody of their children (even if they did not receive it in court)
60% of people under poverty guidelines are divorced women and children
Single mothers support up to four children on an average after-tax annual income of $12,200
65% divorced mothers receive no child support (figure based on all children who could be eligible, including never-married parents, when fathers have custody, and parents without court orders); 75% receive court-ordered child support (and rising since inception of uniform child support guidelines, mandatory garnishment and license renewal suspension)
After divorce, women experience less stress and better adjustment in general than do men. The reasons for this are that (1) women are more likely to notice marital problems and to feel relief when such problems end, (2) women are more likely than men to rely on social support systems and help from others, and (3) women are more likely to experience an increase in self-esteem when they divorce and add new roles to their lives.
Women who work and place their children in child care experience a greater stigma than men in the same position. Men in the same position often attract support and compassion.(www.mediate.com)
Divorce And How it Affects Men
They Lose Their Sense Of Identity
“My key breakthrough was realizing that I was defining myself with respect to my marriage,” said Denbaum. Even with multiple degrees and a successful career, he found himself lost in the process of his divorce. “I made the marriage the be all and end all, and when I saw that crumbling, I felt like my identity was crumbling.”
So what do you do? In order to rebuild confidence post-divorce, Denbaum suggests getting involved in a new activity or organization. “One really powerful thing for me was joining a non-profit group called the Mankind Project,” he said. There, he found his way to the New Warriors Men’s Organization, where he would meet weekly with groups of men going through hard times, coming together to listen and help each other in “a non-judgmental way.”
Their Paternal Instinct Is Challenged
“For me, family has always been important,” says Denbaum. “I grew up in a happy family, and I never doubted for a minute that I would get married and raise one of my own. I think just as there are maternal instincts in women, there is a paternal instinct in men.” He describes part of this paternal instinct as a longing to belong with the status quo, and to be a provider.
“If a man is feeling distraught or shameful [because of the impact his family is feeling from divorce], he might disappear from the picture,” said Denbaum. “Which is why most post-divorce men need to remain connected to their children, if they have them.”
When men maintain relationship with their kids, it eases those feelings of shame, and can re-instill that lost sense of belonging. “The love that can flow back and forth between you and your children is very healing in itself,” he said.
They Don’t Allow Themselves To Grieve Properly
“Bottling up feelings with no outlet leads men to experience feelings of depression,” said Denbaum. “As someone with no biological predisposition, I definitely think that the breakup of my marriage brought me to experience physiological problems like high blood pressure and mental ones like my battle with depression at the time.”
Rather than following this level of stress into a no-way-out mentality, Denbaum suggests that men see marriage counselors, regardless of the current state of their marriage. “I started seeing a marriage counselor on my own, before my divorce. My then-wife joined in for a while, but I continued on my own, even after the divorce was finalized, he said.
“Men have to break though the ‘I’ve got to do it myself and go it alone’ attitude,” he said. “Women are so much better about relying on one another, and this whole ‘big boys don’t cry’ mentality has had an entirely negative impact on men’s well-being.”
From The Many Stories From Your Tango:
The Effect of Divorce on Men Cont:
Men are usually confronted with greater emotional adjustment problems than women. The reasons for this are related to the loss of intimacy, the loss of social connection, reduced finances, and the common interruption of the parental role.
Men remarry more quickly than women.
As compared to “deadbeat dads,” men who have shared parenting (joint legal custody), ample time with their children, and an understanding of and direct responsibility for activities and expenses of children stay involved in their children’s lives and are in greater compliance with child support obligations. There is also a greater satisfaction with child support amount when negotiated in mediation. Budgets are prepared, and responsibility divided in a way that parents understand.
Men are initially more negative about divorce than women and devote more energy in attempting to salvage the marriage. (www.mediate.com)
When a man loses his wife and his family, everything starts to go down the drain. Without help full blown depression can follow. Suddenly they feel they are in a pit that they cannot get out of. They start losing their grip on reality, losing interest and motivation, affecting every facet of their life leading to self-destruction.
Regardless of your disposition, divorce can totally change you. The anger that you feel towards those who’ve caused you pain and towards yourself can manifest in ways that even you would be surprised.
Loss of Self Esteem
When the women who promised to be there through thick and thin says she no longer wants to do anything with you, pride will be the first one to take a nosedive. Self esteem follows as you feel the whole foundation of your being shatter.
Loss of Status
Society judges a man by what he has, not by what he is. Divorce can bring all of the things you’ve worked so hard to achieve come crashing down. What will all those around you think when you’ve just lost your family? Will they treat you differently now? Will their self respect towards you be affected? Questions such as these will affect you and your status in many ways.
Alcohol and Drugs
To numb the pain and in order to get some form of relief from all the pain that one feels, one may turn to alcohol and even illegal substances. The problem is, the more one depends on these temporary relievers the more they start to drift away from the real solution.
Difficulty Trusting Women
The most damaging effect of divorce on men by far is the difficulty in trusting women or other people for that matter. While they may indeed recover from all the other effects mentioned above, they may also harden themselves to protect from further pain. This prevents them from ever developing new or lasting relationships that they need in order to make them whole again.
Divorce and its effects on men is one of the most difficult and painful situations that one will be faced with, but it is not impossible to overcome. As long as you are willing to take steps in order to make things better they eventually will, and while the pain and suffering that you might be feeling now is unbearable, in time they will pass as well.
Effect Of Divorce On Children
In a study published in the March 2013 edition of Public Health, researchers at the University of Toronto found that both sons and daughters of divorced families are significantly more likely to begin smoking than peers whose parents are married. In an analysis of 19,000 Americans, men whose parents divorced before they turned 18 had 48 percent higher odds of smoking than men with intact families. Women had 39 percent higher odds of picking up the habit. Lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson called the link “very disturbing.”
Dr. Strohschein, a sociologist at the University of Alberta, wanted to know what was behind the increase in children prescriptions for Ritalin over the past two decades. And so, in 2007, she analyzed data from a survey that was conducted between 1994 and 2000. In it, 5,000 children who did not use Ritalin, and were living in two-parent households, were interviewed. Over the six years, 13.2 percent of those kids experienced divorce. Of those children, 6.6 percent used Ritalin. Of the children living in intact households, 3.3 percent used Ritalin. Strohschein suggests that stress from the divorce could have altered the children’s mental health, and caused a dependence on Ritalin.
Poor math and social skills
A 2011 study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that children of divorced parents often fall behind their classmates in math and social skills, and are more likely to suffer anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. The reason that math skills are affected is likely because learning math is cumulative. “If I do not understand that one plus one is two,” lead researcher Hyun Sik Kim says, “then I cannot understand multiplication.” Kim says it is unlikely that children of divorce will be able to catch up with their peers who live in more stable families.
Susceptibility to sickness
In 1990, Jane Mauldon of the University of California at Berkeley found that children of divorce run a 35 percent risk of developing health problems, compared with a 26 percent risk among all children. Mauldon suggests their susceptibility to illness is likely due to “very significant stress” as their lives change dramatically. Divorce can also reduce the availability of health insurance, and may lead to a loss of certain factors that contribute to good health, including constant adult supervision and a safe environment. The risk of health problems is higher than average during the first four years after a family separation, but, curiously, can actually increase in the years following.
An increased likelihood of dropping out of school
A 2010 study found that more than 78 percent of children in two-parent households graduated from high school by the age of 20. However, only 60 percent of those who went through a big family change — including divorce, death, or remarriage — graduated in the same amount of time. The younger a child is during the divorce, the more he or she may be affected. Also, the more change children are forced to go through, like a divorce followed by a remarriage, the more difficulty they may have finishing school.
A propensity for crime
In 2009, the law firm Mishcon de Reya polled 2,000 people who had experienced divorce as a child in the preceding 20 years. And the results did not paint a positive picture of their experiences. The subjects reported witnessing aggression (42 percent), were forced to comfort an upset parent (49 percent), and had to lie for one or the other (24 percent). The outcome was one in 10 turned to crime, and 8 percent considered suicide.
Higher risk of stroke
In 2010, researchers from the University of Toronto found a strong link between divorce and adult risk of stroke. However, the vast majority of adults whose parents divorced did not have strokes. “Let’s make sure we don’t have mass panic,” said lead researcher Esme Fuller-Thompson. “We don’t know divorce causes stroke, we just know this association exists.” She says the relationship could be due to exposure to stress, which can change a child’s physiology. She also noted that the time at which these children experienced divorce was in the 1950s, when it wasn’t as socially accepted as it is today.
Greater chance of getting divorced
University of Utah research Nicholas H. Wolfinger in 2005 released a study showing that children of divorce are more likely to divorce as adults. Despite aspiring to stable relationships, children of divorce are more likely to marry as teens, as well as marry someone who also comes from a divorced family. Wolfinger’s research suggests that couples in which one spouse has divorced parents may be up to twice as likely to divorce. If both partners experienced divorce as children they are three times more likely to divorce themselves. Wolfinger said one of the reasons is that children from unstable families are more likely to marry young.
An early death
And rounding out the dreary research is an eight-decade study and book called The Longevity Project by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin. Starting in 1921, researchers tracked some 1,500 boys and girls throughout their lives. More than one-third of the participants experienced either parental divorce or the death of a parent before the age of 21. But it was only the children of divorced families who died on average almost five years earlier than children whose parents did not divorce. The deaths were from causes both natural and unnatural, but men were more likely to die of accidents or violence. Generally, divorce lowered the standard of living for the children, which made a particular difference in the life longevity of women.
The Legal Effects Of Divorce On Society:
Surging Poverty Levels
Divorce breeds poverty, particularly for women and children. In the first 18 months following divorce, between 77 and 83 percent of mothers and their children live in poverty. With fewer economic resources, most children of divorce experience disruptions – changes in child care, living arrangements and schools – that create turmoil in their lives. Long-term effects of poverty from divorce are most obvious in girls. According to sociologist Molly Martin, girls raised by a divorced parent tend to live on welfare and require public housing as adults. Public dependency continues for their children who, as mothers, are three times more likely to go on welfare.
Children as Victims
Many sociologists believe that societies hoping to flourish and perpetuate must rear children responsibly. In most functioning societies, an intact family helps children develop strong moral character. Lacking such guidance, children of divorce are more likely to behave as social deviants. Specific findings reported by The Heritage Foundation are that these children are more likely to commit minor and serious crimes, run away from home, be suspended from school, smoke cigarettes, abuse alcohol, carry weapons, engage in physical fighting, and use marijuana and cocaine. And both male and female adolescents living in single-parent households have experimented with sex by age 11.
Lagging Academic Achievement
Divorce menaces society by disrupting children’s lives, which makes it harder for them to perform well in school and pursue higher education. Divorced parents who remain single have less time to supervise their child’s schoolwork or become involved in school activities. As a result, their children score lower on tests of cognitive development, verbal reasoning and math and science aptitude. Also, 58 percent of these children are classified as special needs as opposed to 31 percent of children in intact families. As for educational attainment, children of divorce are more likely to drop out of high school or not attend college (Legalzoom.com).
The Social Issue Of Divorce On Families:
Children whose parents have divorced are increasingly the victims of abuse. They exhibit more health, behavioral, and emotional problems, are involved more frequently in and drug abuse, and have higher rates of suicide.
Children of divorced parents perform more poorly in reading, spelling, and math. They also are more likely to repeat a grade and to have higher drop-out rates and lower rates of college graduation.
Families with children that were not poor before the divorce see their income drop as much as 50 percent. Almost 50 percent of the parents with children that are going through a divorce move into poverty after the divorce.
Religious worship, which has been linked to better health, longer marriages, and better Family life, drops after the parents divorce.
The Financially Effects Of Divorce On Society:
Capital gains can be a killer
Divorce can come with big tax bills. In many cases, when a couple splits, they may immediately start scrambling to claim or divide assets. It’s not uncommon for a spouse to run and clear out bank accounts, cash in CDs and sell off stocks, bonds and other investments. Blinded by emotion and fear, Cobert said they can be hit with a harsh reality when tax time comes around.
“People are not often aware that there are consequences for taking out certain assets. Spouses may want to get the money or may need it for income, but the taxes can really add up,” said Cobert.
Let’s say the couple had $100,000 of investments in a joint account. If they liquidated portfolio and the cost basis of those stocks was $70,000, they could each be on the hook for $15,000 in capital gains. If the money was in a traditional IRA and they sold off the stock and took the money before they were age 59 ½, they could be not only on the hook for capital gains but an additional 10% penalty, as well.=
Spousal support quickly adds up
The granting of alimony (also known as “spousal support”) and how it is calculated varies significantly from state to state. Alimony is usually paid to the less-advantaged spouse and is often seen as a temporary measure to help them stay on their feet during the separation.
Landers said the first determining factor is the length of the marriage. Although it can vary, in most jurisdictions a couple must have been married for at least ten years for alimony to be a consideration. Other factors include how old the spouse is, whether or not they have a job, how much they earn, any other assets they have, the nature of the dissolution of the marriage, and the need.
“There is no set formula. It’s very subjective. You could be in the same state, have two different judges, and the same set of circumstances, and end up with very different conclusions,” said Landers.
Cobert also said it can vary widely, but in general, the “resource spouse” might have to pay 50% of their income minus 40% of the income being earned by the non-income spouse. Others say it often works out to ensure that both homes have around the same average income. Often, if there is a child involved, child support is the priority and is calculated first. In any case, if alimony payments are awarded, the paying spouse could have to pay a significant amount of their income to the other spouse for a number of years.
“It’s usually determined by the judge. That’s why we recommend Alternative Dispute Resolution so both parties can come to a fair agreement,” said Cobert.
Don’t forget the legal fees
No matter how amicable a divorce may be, there are going to be significant legal fees. Attorney fees add up quickly because, when combined, the couple is paying for not just one, but two legal teams. Even an amicable do-it-yourself-divorce can still cost over $1,500 in many jurisdictions. Landers said the problem is that when a relationship deteriorates to the point of divorce, very few couples do it amicably.
“If they were able to do it amicably, they might be able to go with mediation and it might not cost a lot of money. But if they were that amicable, they might not be getting a divorce,” said Landers.
And the more a couple disagrees and fights it out in court, the more expensive it becomes. Throw in a custody battle and a fight over alimony and assets, and legal fees could easily top $100,000 in many states. Things get even worse and more expensive when the spouses stop talking to one another and communicate only through their attorneys.
Cobert said ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) and mediation has grown more popular in recent years as a way to more amicably and cheaply handle divorce disputes. He also recommends the couple consult with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst who can analyze their assets and circumstances and help them proceed with the separation in a way that makes the best financial sense for both.
“More people are using CDFAs to run the numbers and come up with optional settlements. It’s usually a lot better to try to keep it out of the courts,” he said.
“The Financial Impact of Divorce” was written by Craig Guillot.
After all the tears and pain of Divorce, I promise you, one day soon, the sun will come out!!!!