Monday, September 21, 2015

Study looks at why women are more likely to initiate divorce

By Yanan Wang
Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, 9:00 p.m.
Expectations for a spouse are much higher than they used to be. 

For most of Western history, marriage had little equality. Wives bore the brunt of child care and housework, depended on their husbands for financial support and enjoyed little social autonomy while men openly had affairs. 

Fast-forward to the age of rom-coms, Valentine's Day and a $50 billion wedding industry. It's all based on finding, marrying and keeping “The One.” 

“Today, Americans want not only a spouse who is reliable and reasonable, but also someone who is their best friend, and a great lover, and someone who pays the bills ... but is also really fun,” said Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld. 

According to research that Rosenfeld recently presented at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting, these heightened expectations can leave women feeling worse off in marriage than men. In a survey of 2,262 adults in heterosexual partnerships over the course of five years, Rosenfeld found that women initiate divorces 69 percent of the time. 

On the whole, they also reported less satisfaction with their marriages than men. 

Scientists have known for decades that wives are usually the ones asking for a divorce. But Rosenfeld's study also surveyed people in nonmarital romantic relationships, from casual flings to couples who had lived together for several years; in those relationships, women and men initiated breakups at equal rates. So, there's something about marriage that makes it harder on women.
“The expectation is that marriage has a whole bunch of benefits and positive characteristics for women that it didn't have in the past, but the truth is much trickier than that,” Rosenfeld said.
Though he stressed that most women surveyed were happy with their marriages, many of those who weren't cited controlling husbands and a loss of independence as causes of discontent. 

He also speculated that, although most men today espouse egalitarian values, many probably still harbor subconscious expectations of a wife's traditional role in the household. This could explain why, after all these years, women still shoulder twice as many domestic responsibilities as men. (In contrast, studies have shown that couples who equally divide their child-care duties have better sex lives.) 

Rosenfeld's survey checked in with the same individuals every year for five years. In cases in which someone was married the first year of the study and divorced in the last, his team was able to gather details in the breakup's immediate aftermath. 

One woman, who was 23 when the study began in 2009, initially reported a “good” (4 out of 5 points on the satisfaction scale) relationship with her husband-to-be: “He is very clever, fun, and sweet. I respect him and feel like we are equals on values, intellect and humor.” 

She noted, however, “It is not ‘excellent' because I wish that he was more romantic. He's very practical.” 

Four years later, the couple got divorced. In early 2015, she said, “I used to be a very happy, optimistic person, and it was like he was slowly starving my soul.” 

She realized that the relationship had become emotionally abusive and promptly filed for a divorce.
Rosenfeld said respondents' stories had echoes of “The Feminine Mystique,” Betty Friedan's feminist treatise about unhappiness among middle-class housewives. Instead, many of today's disgruntled wives have full-time jobs — and, hence, no practical need for husbands who don't make them happy.
So, while the institution of marriage hasn't completely shed its inequitable roots, women can afford to be a lot choosier. 

Yanan Wang is a staff writer for The Washington Post.

For more information about the Summit Murder Mystery series, CLICK HERE 
To visit Charles Irion's Amazon page, CLICK HERE
Follow Charles Irion on Twitter HERE
Friend Charles Irion on Facebook HERE
Visit Charles Irion's YouTube channel HERE

Monday, September 14, 2015

How Your Spouse's Ashley Madison Account Can Impact Your Divorce

Now that hackers leaked the email addresses of 37 million users of Ashley Madison, the dating service for married people in search of an affair, New York City divorce lawyer Morghan Richardson’s “phone lit up like a Christmas tree,” she says.

“People are struggling to deal with how this information may impact their divorce and their life — if at all,” says Richardson.

Here is how catching a cheating spouse can affect your split:
  1. Power. “I often hear from the wronged spouse: ‘I knew he was cheating! Now that I have proof I can get the house, the kids, the …’” says Richardson. The reality is that most states have no-fault divorce laws. That means that a judge doesn’t care why you are splitting up. Their job is to make sure that the money is split fairly and custody and visitation are in the best interest of the kids. In cases of infidelity, the “wronged” spouse is so hurt and angry, they assume that a judge will take that into consideration. They won’t.  On the other hand, it is common that the cheating spouse will feel so guilty, or won’t want the divorce, or be afraid of losing face to friends and family that they concede to their husband or wife’s demands.  Guilt is a powerful negotiating tool in divorce.
ashley madison divorce

2.  Finances. Again, just because they were cheating doesn’t mean you get more than your share of money money. Divorce, technically, is not about reparations. However, document through credit card and bank statements how much money he spent on the site, and if he was successful, how much he spent having the affair (hotel rooms, gifts, dinners, etc.). This spending is called “marital waste,” which can be recaptured during the divorce proceedings. If he bought her a Cartier watch with marital money, he better be prepared to pony up at least half the cost.

3. Custody. “My husband listed a number of ‘unconventional’ sex preferences. How can I use this in my custody fight?” For the most part, what happens in the bedroom is not for the eyes of children — 0r the ears of the court. Your husband’s 50 Shades of Grey disclosure on his Ashley Madison profile is not likely to be equated with bad parenting. Of course, most custody fights are about character assassination and depending on the preferences listed, his BDSM admissions may help tilt the legal scales in your favor.

4. Settlement. “My wife is really angry. I was just curious when I signed up. I don’t want a divorce.” Again, judges don’t care, and courts have no interest in making couples stay married. Your wife can get a divorce if she wants, period. Second, don’t let your guilt or desire to “win her back” force you into a divorce settlement that is not in your favor. Giving her the sun and the moon now will lead to impossible to pay for deals that crush you. Finally, think about getting your own therapist to cope with the process, and your own guilt. You are far from alone in your infidelity (studies of American couples show 20 to 40 percent of straight married men will have an affair), though you may be finding yourself alone in trying to save this relationship.

5. Legal Fees. While infidelity doesn’t contribute to the legal process of divorce, the discovery of an affair nearly always skyrockets the emotional hurt. And when people are angry, they need to fight. And fighting in divorce means higher legal fees. If a husband wants to try to punish his unfaithful wife through a contentious divorce and driving up her legal fees, hopefully it won’t take him long to realize he’s punishing himself by racking up the same costly fees with his lawyer.

For more information about the Summit Murder Mystery series, CLICK HERE 
To visit Charles Irion's Amazon page, CLICK HERE
Follow Charles Irion on Twitter HERE
Friend Charles Irion on Facebook HERE
Visit Charles Irion's YouTube channel HERE 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Divorce Lawyers See Ashley Madison Fallout as Christmas in September

Lawyers think the leak of 37m names from the membership list of the Ashley Madison database, an online club aimed at unfaithful spouses, is going to create a boom in divorces this autumn - a 'Christmas in September', according to one practitioner.

Steve Mindel, a lawyer based in Los Angeles, said: 'We're all saying: 'It's going to be Christmas in September. Pretty soon all of this stuff is going to surface and there's going to be a lot of filings for divorce directly as a result of this.'

Facilitating adultery
Nigel Shepherd of UK law firm Mills & Reeve was asked for advice from an unhappy wife within hours of her husband's name being listed on the leaked database listing. He said: 'If someone finds out if their partner is set up on a site which exists wholly for facilitating adultery, it's hardly surprising they are taking advice about it.' Source: Daily Mail

For more information about the Summit Murder Mystery series, CLICK HERE 
To visit Charles Irion's Amazon page, CLICK HERE
Follow Charles Irion on Twitter HERE
Friend Charles Irion on Facebook HERE
Visit Charles Irion's YouTube channel HERE