Option A: Critically assess the view that, despite a robust legislative framework and an extensive body of case law emphasizing the importance of fairness and non-discrimination, the financial burden arising from divorce falls mainly on women.
While both men and women face financial difficulties after a divorce, the burden on women is often greater. This disparity is more pronounced when the divorced couple has children, and it is typically the outcome of how families are more often operated and how courts rule in custody issues. Men usually make more income than women due to the salary disparity between the sexes. As a result, even in a marriage between a man and a woman who do not have children, the man is probably more responsible for the greater portion of their income. In a heterosexual couple with children, the woman is more inclined to remain at home to take care of the kids than the man. Over the last several decades, there has been a change in this pattern, with more two-income homes and a growing proportion of women working whereas their spouses remain at home with the children. Nonetheless, the woman is still significantly more likely than the father to remain at home with the children.
Short-Term and Long-Term Implications of Divorce
As a consequence of the reality of divorce risk, divorced people face two types of expenses. To begin with, divorce has significant long-term implications. Apart from the procedure costs, the bulk of these expenses are due to the ex-spouses’ lifestyle drop as a consequence of the loss of economies of scale after their divorce. The previous spouses are not equally affected by this decline. When one spouse produces the majority of the couple’s income, his or her standard of living improves considerably after the divorce, whilst the other spouse’s does not. The presence of children, as well as the fact that they live with one of the previous spouses, is the second cause of asymmetry. This gap, along with the overall deterioration in living conditions, may cause one of the two couples, generally the woman, to become despondent. In addition to these direct costs, divorce has indirect costs as a result of decisions taken during the marriage, especially with relation to marital investments.
The economic literature has concepts that may be utilized to examine the structure and results of these investments. According to family economists, marriage is a long-term contractual partnership overseen by the law. The termination of this contract is signaled by divorce, whether amicable or not. If one of the spouses has made significant investments in the domestic world such as raising kids or running the household, or supporting the other partner’s education or early professional career, marriage is at risk. The indirect costs of certain investments may be calculated not only in the short term, but also in the medium and long term. Where these situations have delayed the wife from working, it will be more challenging for them to re-enter the workforce after the divorce because of their poor employability. If the spouse is a lone parent, their employability is further lowered since they are less accessible for work due to the existence of their offspring. Furthermore, the implications of certain investments are felt later in life when a divorce happens. The replacement revenues earned after retirement are affected by irregular or less intense participation on the employment market.
The most significant income disparity in the aftermath of a breakup is definitely between men and women. As a result, there is a substantial body of study on the variables that may enlighten these gendered income trends. Participation in the labor market seems to be the most important illuminating feature at the person level. Because many married women do not work or work part-time, they have lower rates of labor market connection. The husband works while the woman cares (more) for the children under the traditional male breadwinner paradigm, resulting in a specialized division of labor in the spouses. When a marriage ends, the woman typically has less productive capacity than the man, particularly if her labor market skills have deteriorated while she remained at home to care for the children and handle the housework.
The existence of (young) children in the family is a second major explanatory factor. The existence of kids in marriage not only restricts a woman’s employment choices, but it also limits her time resources, making it more tough for her to split her time between baby-sitting, housekeeping, and paid job. Furthermore, if the mother has physical responsibility for the child, her family’s financial requirements may be larger. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the financial burden arising from divorce falls mainly on women. Women’s family income falls quicker after divorce, exposing them to poverty. Their ex-husbands, may be able to increase their lifestyle in the years after their divorce.
Risk Factors Faced by Divorced Women
Women face four risk factors, according to Bröckel and Andress: higher monetary need and restricted acquiring aptitudes on account of kids; deficient kid upkeep; disproportionally enormous pay misfortune, which is frequently not completely compensated by spousal upkeep; and human resources setbacks emerging from orientation specialization in the work division during marriage. Albeit the exploration proposes that separation monetarily affects women, there are two admonitions to this outcome. As indicated by a new near research, transient effects are more prominent than medium-term impacts: Men’s pay rates bounced back in the years after divorce. Emotional evaluations of monetary prosperity might give various results. The pertinence of how individuals emotionally feel changes in their monetary circumstance has been underscored in hypothetical models of the separation interaction, especially the crisis model and the chronic strain model. However, information on gender disparities in perceived indices of economic well-being is limited. According to an early research, women were happier with their financial situation following divorce than males. These findings imply that gender disparities in post-divorce economic well-being should be studied using both objective and subjective measures.
When post-divorce income is matched to what we think family incomes would have been in the pre-divorce, the representation is substantially different. In the United Kingdom, women’s equivalized family wages declined by 30% in the year after divorce, comparing to what they would have earned if they had stayed married. While equivalized family earnings recovered very quickly following the divorce, they remained around 20% below what we assume their equivalized family income would have been had they stayed married after five years. The major goal is to make divorce proceedings easier to understand and to speed up the settlement of financial matters. Couples married nowadays are more likely to divorce than earlier generations because divorce is more socially acceptable and divorce processes are easier. This transition has been the subject of substantial social science study.
Two categories of divorce research may be recognized using Lambert’s (2009) taxonomy for classifying sociological research on divorce. The first focuses on the reasons for divorce, while the second focuses on the effects on the divorced and their kids. A number of theoretical and empirical research in the field of legal economics have attempted to assess if the primer of no-fault divorce has resulted in an upsurge in the divorce rate. Simultaneously, extensive research in the area of social policy economics has concentrated on the effect of divorce on fluctuations in the lifestyle, as well as, to a lesser degree, the influence of divorce on former spouses’ labor market activities.
Due to a fall in economies of scale, divorce couples often perceive a dip in their level of living. After a divorce, women’s living standards fall more often than men’s, particularly if the woman has physical responsibility for the child. Furthermore, women are more likely than males to fall into poverty after a divorce. Moreover, according to the same research, state and private remittances between husband and wife (child support or alimony) serve to minimize the likelihood of poverty and close the gender difference in living standards after a divorce. To put it another way, divorce entails a monetary penalty for both couples. This expense is borne – though not usually fairly – by the former spouses, as well as the two spouses and the public.
Changes in homeownership were the subject of a second line of investigation. Given that divorce is a key risk factor for losing homeownership throughout the course of a person’s life, a range of housing analyses have looked at gender disparities in this risk. These studies are based on the premise that women are more reliant on their relationships than males, and hence are at a larger risk of losing home quality and security following divorce. If partners who own their home divorce, keeping the house may necessitate paying a mortgage and purchasing the interest of the ex-partner, which is typically out of reach for women. In keeping with these factors, European research finds that women are more probable than males to lose their house following a divorce. Elevated heights of gender specialization and lower rates of women’s labor force involvement may underwrite to these discrepancies.
Gender Disparity in The Financial Implications of Divorce
The ramifications of a breakup in a relationship may have a broad variety of predictable and unanticipated implications in their lives. The gender disparity in the financial implications of divorce is a recurrent finding in the divorce data. While there are significant worldwide disparities, it seems that after a divorce, women are financially disadvantaged. Men often lose very little income following a divorce, although women’s financial losses might be significant. We present an outline of the financial effects of union separation in this chapter. First, we examine the size of the reduction in financial resources as well as the restrictive impacts of welfare benefits. The financial repercussions of divorce are influenced by institutional variables in a clear and significant way. There are institutional impacts that go beyond the disparities in geographical mix. While family size and labor market attachment patterns vary by jurisdiction, the institutional framework influences the financial repercussions of divorce for women.
Social welfare (direct income-related metrics) has the greatest influence on women’s post-divorce income courses. Child care may also assist women in remaining engaged in the labor market, thereby increasing their earnings. Nonetheless, multivariate studies have shown that direct income assistance has a greater impact than child care payments. This result has been stable throughout time. Getting income assistance may have adverse effects for a divorced woman’s life, as it may lead to a “welfare trap” that prevents her from engaging in the labor market. The woman’s fiscal situation later in life may be harmed as a result of her lack of labor market commitment, since her pension entitlements will be significantly diminished.
Divorce as A Risk
Divorce is a risk (in the financial aspect) of a private kind, since it impacts the status of the former couple. It is instigated by at least one of the spouses. As a result, it may be argued that bearing the accompanying expenses is their responsibility. They have a variety of coverage options available to them. Traditional tools are associated with private camaraderie between the former couple or an individual preventive approach consisting of not quitting the labor market and preparing for a future divorce. Other coverage instruments are predicated on mutualized coverage through private insurance, which is utilized considerably less often. However, the state’s intervention in the private control of divorce risk is economically acceptable for grounds of efficiency and, most all, justice.
By deciding on alimony payments or creating a default community of property regime, the law helps to guarantee that divorce expenditures are divided in a reasonably resourceful and fair way. While divorce may be a private risk, it also has societal consequences, such as an increased likelihood of poverty, particularly among single parents, and gender inequities. The welfare state’s duty is to control these two forms of environmental concerns by direct public involvement in the form of programs to keep single-parents out of poverty, pension system solidarity programs, and measures to increase women’s work rates. The family, the state, and the market are all involved in the covering of divorce risk. Their involvement takes many forms, and their responsibilities in divorce risk cover vary depending on the financial status of the former couple and their capacity to recover following a divorce.
Findings reveal that, despite greater female labor engagement and the expansion of the universal child welfare system, the economic repercussions of divorce are still more adverse for women than for men. Finally, it would also be educative to look at how the family, the government, and the market intervene in various nations. In Italy, for instance, family cohesion is a key source of financial backing in the circumstance of divorce, whereas in the U.K, divorce risk management does seem to be managed on a more personal scale, as evidenced by an upsurge in women’s employment rates in a setting where property splitting is the default matrimonial system. In order to analyze cross-country disparities in the economic implications of a divorce, a typology of the different kinds of divorce risk management would be required for international comparison.
Aassve, A., Betti, G., Mazzuco, S., & Mencarini, L. Marital disruption and economic well-being: A comparative analysis. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 170(3), (2007). 781–799. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2007.00483.x.
Ananat E.O., Michaels G., “Effect of marital breakup on the income distribution of women with children”, Journal of Human Resources, 43(3), (2008), pp. 611-629.
Bonnet C., Hourriez J-M., “Gender equality in pensions. What role for rights accrued as a spouse or a parent?”, Population, English Edition, 67(1), (2012), pp. 123-146.
Bonnet C., Garbinti B., Solaz A., “Les variations de niveau de vie des hommes et des femmes à la suite d’un divorce ou d’une rupture de pacs”, Insee références, Couples et Familles, (2015), pp. 51-61.
Bröckel M, Andress H-J. The economic consequences of divorce in Germany: What has changed since the turn of the millennium? Comparative Population Studies. 2015;40:277–312.
De Vaus, D., Gray, M., Qu, L., & Stanton, D. The economic consequences of divorce in six OECD countries (Research Report No. 31). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies (2015).
Herbers DJ, Mulder CH, Modenes JA. Moving out of home ownership in later life: The influence of the family and housing careers. Housing Studies. 2014;29:910–936.
Hübgen, S. Only a husband away from poverty? Lone mothers’ poverty risks in a European Comparison. In L. Bernardi & D. Mortelmans (Eds.), Lone parenthood in a life course perspective (2018). (pp. 167–190). Cham: Springer.
Kalmijn M, Uunk W. Regional value differences in Europe and the social consequences of divorce: A test of the stigmatization hypothesis. Social Science Research. 2006;36:447–468. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2006.06.001.
Lambert A., “From causes to consequences. A critical history of divorce as a study object and the main orientations of French research”, Population, English Edition, 64(1), (2009).
Smock PJ. Gender and the short-run economic consequences of marital disruption. Social Forces. 1994;73:243–262. doi: 10.1093/sf/73.1.243.
 Aassve, A., Betti, G., Mazzuco, S., & Mencarini, L. (2007). Marital disruption and economic well-being: A comparative analysis. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 170(3), 781–799. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2007.00483.x
 The economic literature, defines poverty as a percentage (typically 60%) of the population’s average net family average household income. When a person’s income falls below this level, they are termed poor (Aassve et al. 2007). As various definitions of poverty have become accessible, the EU has renamed this 60 percent criterion “at-risk-of-poverty” (AROP). This word is now utilized in all current research, although previous studies referred to this 60 percent median income barrier as “poor”.
 Bonnet C., Hourriez J-M., 2012, “Gender equality in pensions. What role for rights accrued as a spouse or a parent?”, Population, English Edition, 67(1), pp. 123-146.
 Smock PJ. Gender and the short-run economic consequences of marital disruption. Social Forces. 1994. doi: 10.1093/sf/73.1.243.
 Bröckel M, Andress H-J. findings reveal despite rising female labor market participation and, as a result, higher numbers of multiple earner families, the economic effects of divorce are still more adverse for women than for men.
 Eurostat, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Marriage_and_divorce_statistics.
Lambert A., 2009 notes that socioeconomic disparity has a long-term influence on the prospects for divorce and the shapes it takes. Certainly, today’s families have factored in the likelihood of future divorce into their conceptual frameworks.
 Bonnet C., Garbinti B., Solaz A., 2015, “Les variations de niveau de vie des hommes et des femmes à la suite d’un divorce ou d’une rupture de pacs”, Insee références, Couples et Familles, pp. 51-61.
 Ananat E.O., Michaels G., 2008, “Effect of marital breakup on the income distribution of women with children”, Journal of Human Resources, 43(3), pp. 611-629.
 Herbers DJ, Mulder CH, Modenes JA. Moving out of home ownership in later life: The influence of the family and housing careers. Housing Studies. 2014;29:910–936.
 Kalmijn M, Uunk W looks into divorce’s social effects and regional value variations in Europe
 Hübgen, S. (2018). Only a husband away from poverty? Lone mothers’ poverty risks in a European Comparison. In L. Bernardi & D. Mortelmans (Eds.), Lone parenthood in a life course perspective (pp. 167–190). Cham: Springer.