The Divorce Gap & Financial Health of Divorcing Spouses

The Divorce Gap & Financial Health of Divorcing Spouses

In our society, divorce and the legal proceedings surrounding it carries a significant amount of stigma, thus making the whole process more difficult for the parties involved. It is hard enough when a relationship ends, but with a legal marriage without a post-nuptial or prenuptial agreement to rely on, there are more procedures that must take place before you can finally set yourself on a separate path from your ex-spouse. Divorce can be more complicated when children are involved as well since custody and support arrangements must be decided in the most equitable manner possible and in the best interest of the child.

Though the realities of divorce are more and more present in our marital system, there are certain truths about divorce that are generally not discussed, primarily the financial, emotional, and physical condition of the parties after their separation.  

What is the “Divorce Gap”?

The divorce gap was originally investigated back in a study in 2009. The divorce gap refers to the relative financial position of each party after a divorce has been finalized. The divorce gap displays the disparity between the financial conditions of men and women post-divorce; according to the study, women see a 20 percent decline in their earnings after a divorce, even though the women worked before, during, and after the marriage. Furthermore, the study found a 30 percent rise in income for men post-divorce. The poverty rate for a separated woman is almost triple the rate for separated men at almost 27 percent.

The Divorce Gap Is Not Gender-Related But Based On Who Is The Stay-At-Home Parent

The study rests on one major assumption, however; that the women involved in a marriage with a man are the stay-at-home parent. In other words, the financial condition of a divorcing parent is largely informed on whether the career was put on hold to raise the children. Most women involved in the study focused on domestic matters and had put their careers on hold to have children. Post-divorce, women who had been the stay-at-home parent were more likely to be financially strained after the divorce, especially due to the influence of disparate bargaining powers between the stay-at-home parent and the breadwinner.

Move to Make Divorce an Administrative Proceeding Rather than Court Proceeding

Several states have moved to make divorce a less litigious affair. There is currently a push in the Minnesota state legislature to pass a bill that would make divorce an administrative agreement. According to the bill, couples would receive an online training about this administrative process. If the couple decides to continue, they would file a form online demonstrating their intention to request a divorce. Though the couple can receive help from the staff of Minnesota’s mediation services and guidance materials, it would be the couple that establishes the parameters of the divorce with as little or much detail as they would like. After a three-month waiting period, the divorce will then be finalized and be accepted by Minnesota courts. The couple will have the option to continually amend the award depending on changing circumstances or needs of the couple.

Filing for No-Fault Divorce in South Carolina

Currently, couples in South Carolina are required to follow the letter of the law regarding divorce. Before a couple is interested in initiating divorce proceedings in a no-fault divorce action, they must live apart and without reconciliation for a period of one year.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Mount Pleasant, Charleston Area


The divorce gap also stems from ineffective advocacy. To better protect your assets and your financial future post-divorce, it is important to employ an experienced family law attorney. Contact Klok Law Firm LLC today for a free and confidential consultation. We are happy to help you today.