Sunday March 9, 2014
"Using new data from the American Community Survey and controlling for changes in the age composition of the married population, we conclude that there was actually a substantial increase in age-standardized divorce rates between 1990 and 2008. Divorce rates have doubled over the past two decades among persons over age 35." So are the findings from a study done by Sheela Kennedy and Steven Ruggles from the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota.
The study contradicts findings from the US Census data and other federal sources over the last few decades that concluded divorce rates had peaked in the late 1970s and have been declining.
The good news? "Among the youngest couples, however, divorce rates are stable or declining." In other words, the younger generation is working harder at getting right something us older folks have failed at. They are taking seriously their choice of marital partners and not allowing their heads to be led around by their hearts. Which will result in a decline of gray divorce and a flattening out of divorce rates. Good news for our grandchildren.
Wednesday March 5, 2014
If you marry with the expectation that you will live the next 50 years with butterflies in your tummy and knees that go weak every time you see him you are setting yourself up for disappointment. The infatuation you feel when the marriage is new will turn into "real love." If, that is, you are grounded and down-to-earth about your expectations of "love."
Real love is a conscious choice that requires use of the rational part of your brain that understands marriage is about showing up, taking your commitment seriously and being willing to redefine what love is as the years pass.
Sunday March 2, 2014
If your husband cheats and leaves you for another woman, the courts aren't going to hold him responsible. You aren't going to clean his clock financially. You aren't going to be awarded enough alimony to sit back and live off of him the rest of your life. A husband is not a financial plan, he is a husband and when or, if he gets ready for a divorce assets will be split equitably and you will be expected to come up with a new financial plan of your own. A plan that doesn't include his money.
I received an email from a woman over the weekend. She was highly upset because her pro bono attorney had failed to represent her properly, meaning she didn't come away from the divorce with most of his salary and all of their marital assets. Granted she would have been awarded some alimony if she had bothered to show up for the divorce court hearing but, she would have gotten far less than she thought she deserved.
Due to no-fault divorce laws anyone can get a divorce, any time they want a divorce. Due to changes in alimony laws, that is now no longer a sure thing either.
It is for this reason that none of us, a man or woman is safe putting all of our financial eggs in one basket. It is also for this reason that I encourage women not to quite their day job and stay home to raise the children. We no longer live in the 1950s where divorce courts punished spouses for bad behavior. Folks, things have changed and if your marriage ends in divorce, man or woman, you won't be taking your spouse to "the cleaners."
Friday February 28, 2014
Dividing marital property can be a nightmare and the most litigious aspect of the divorce process. First it has to be decided what is and isn't marital property. Each spouse may have a differing opinion about this. For example, gifts given during the marriage can cause a lot of conflict when dividing property during divorce. He may feel that since he paid for her new car that it is his property. She may feel that since it was a gift it is her property.
None of us go through the process of dividing marital property without learning a few lessons. Do you have a story to share...a lesson you learned that will benefit those who are just beginning the arduous task of dividing marital property