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Why Do Women Choose Divorce?

The choice to end a marriage is an individualized decision. Nonetheless, we hear common refrains from clients, many of them women, about why they decided to pull the trigger and end their marriage. Some were burned by infidelity, while others simply grew apart from their spouse.

Contact Tad Nelson & Associates. Our firm can help you file for divorce and fight for custody, alimony, and a fair division of community property. No one should go into divorce proceedings without expert legal advice, so reach out to our League City family law attorney.

The Top 10 Reasons Women Choose Divorce

Different surveys yield different results, but one popular survey published at Self found that women divorced because of:

1.       Adultery

2.       Lack of compatibility

3.       Substance abuse

4.       Growing apart

5.       Conflicting personalities

6.       Failure to communicate

7.       Abuse (physical or mental)

8.       Falling out of love

9.       Failure to meet family obligations

10.   Difficulties with employment

Perhaps only the last one is related to money, which is a prime reason why married couples fight. But when it comes to actually deciding to divorce, money is not a leading reason.

The above challenges are not unique to women. Many men also choose to divorce because of a failure of communication or interpersonal violence. But the survey does show what many women consider important in a marriage—loyalty, compatibility, and intimacy, as well as an absence of abuse.

Women Initiate 7 in 10 Divorces

This number might be surprising. After all, single women tend to focus more on marriage than single men, with the assumption that men walk down the aisle only reluctantly. But a 2015 study from the American Sociology Association found that wives initiate about 70% of divorces.

Interestingly, the sexes ended non-marital cohabitating relationships in equal numbers. It was only when it came to marriage that women were more likely to walk away. This suggests that women are less happy in marital relationships than men, but men and women are equally happy in non-marital relationships.

Women Do Not Get a Leg Up in Divorce

The internet is awash with stories about how divorce law “disadvantages” men. In truth, Texas law treats men and women equally. The law does not assume that children should be with their mothers, and women are not automatically entitled to alimony. In fact, either spouse could become the custodial parent, just as either might receive maintenance after divorce.

These myths persist for various reasons:

1.       Child custody decisions are heavily based on which parent had primary responsibility for raising the children. In many families, this person is the mother, so it’s not surprising she will get primary custody of the children in divorce.

2.       As a community property state, all marital property is divided equally during divorce. Accordingly, a husband might earn most of the money in the family but end up having to divide things equally with his wife. Some of these men, upset with the situation, go online and claim the law is “biased” against them. In reality, this type of division is the result of being a community property state. If the wife was a higher earning spouse, she might be upset with the division of property.

3.       Individual judges in Texas could possibly be biased. Judges are human. But in our experience, bias is very rare from the bench.

Women Should Plan Carefully for their Post-Divorce Finances

Generally speaking, women have less saved for retirement than men, so divorce can upend carefully laid financial plans. Some women voluntarily leave the workforce to raise young children, thus lowering their retirement savings. They also could fail to pick up new skills during those years, so they earn less than hoped when they re-enter the labor market.

After divorce, some women will need to delay retirement. That is frustrating, especially if you were in your 50s and planning on retiring within a decade. Older women have less time to catch up, also.

Talk about your post-divorce goals with your divorce lawyer. We can help you request alimony or more community property, depending on the facts of your case. We can also help you think through which community assets to request. Some of them might appreciate faster over the coming decade, which would make them more valuable when you finally retire.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Our Galveston divorce lawyers have worked with men and women who are considering divorce or separation. We understand the unique challenges women face and are happy to meet for a free consultation with anyone who has questions.