Divorce Is Not a Money-Making Scheme for Women

Last week I went to Santa Cruz to see “The Lost Boys” on the beach boardwalk. That campy horror flick is a classic from my childhood and it looked a little different this time around.

The movie is still brilliant, of course, but a line in the film bugged me to no end. Gramps is talking to his freshly-divorced daughter and remarks “Lucy, you’re the only woman I ever knew that didn’t improve her situation by getting divorced.”

There is a strange social myth that women are pulling a fast one with divorce and leaving men in the poor-house. On the radio this morning I heard women quipping about alimony payments of the obscenely wealthy as if this is the norm for everyone else. It’s not.

Overall, women experience a 27% decline in standard of living while men experience a 10% increase after divorce. The big reason? Women taking on more domestic and primary caretaking work than men. You can’t really put “MOM” on your resumé.

The subject is complicated and I want to read more about it, but my finances are a big barrier right now. I can’t justify spending money on academic journal article access right now.

If you would like to read more about this subject, check out the following articles:

The Economic Costs of Marital Disruption for Young Women Over the Past Two Decades

The Gender Gap in the Economic Well-Being of Nonresident Fathers and Custodial Mothers

I’ve been suffering from an evil flu-like illness this week, so my posts will be pretty short.

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