Divorce is not a game, and definitely not one where anyone truly wins, but there are a few generalizations that people have about which gender tends to come out on top in different aspects of the divorce. Below are a few commonly held opinions about divorce and how it affects the two genders differently, and their corresponding explanations as to why they are unfounded.
Generalization #1: Women always get custody of the children
We’ve all heard it; we’ve all thought about it. Statistically, it is true that fathers tend to receive less custody time than mothers. However, your gender or role in the family does not make that the case automatically, and men can win primary or split custody if they prepare properly for their case. To properly prepare, you must:
- Be active. Attend as many important school and social gatherings as possible and make a point to reach out to other adults who have an active role in your child’s life, such as teachers, coaches, and tutors.
- Provide a safe space. Be sure to create a space in your home devoted to your child or children and their belongings. Demonstrating effort can go a long way.
- Have a solid plan and accurate records. Keep a neat and detailed record of what you do in your child’s life that has a positive influence on them and be sure to create an outline of what you plan on doing in the future to keep up the positive influence.
- Be respectful. Your custody battle is not the time to vent any frustrations you have toward your partner, but rather a time to show that you are able to remain calm and cooperative and do whatever needs to be done to ensure your child’s well-being is always your top priority.
Generalization #2: Alimony and child support allow for women to “win” financially in a divorce
It is first important to note that, despite what you may think, alimony and child support do not always flow from men to women. While they may be hesitant to admit it, men often receive these monthly stipends from their wives rather than the other way around.
In addition, even if women are the ones at the receiving end of the alimony and child support checks, there are other important factors at play when it comes to financial stability after a divorce. According to a study published by the US National Library of Medicine in 2018, in the year of divorce, women lost approximately 40% of their pre-divorce incomes, whereas their former husbands experienced gains of approximately 5%.
Despite some differences between men and women when it comes to divorce, certain statistics and likelihoods can never predict the outcome of an individual case. All in all, it is most important to remember that divorce is not a contest and that “winning” only comes when both parties are happy with the result.