Posted on 6.7.17
There was an interesting article in the telegraph last week exploring the differences in how men and women fare post-divorce and it got me thinking, does gender actually provide any telling correlation in regards to who copes better in the aftermath of a divorce?
I looked around a few different articles from a number of sites including the Guardian, The Daily Mail and the Huffington Post just to name a few. Whilst the conclusions were always different, the one thing they all had in common was they were almost all based on the man and woman having stereotypical (and frankly outdated) family gender roles in a very prototypical divorce scenario.
When comparing how men and women fare after divorce, it’s easy to draw conclusions based on clichés, but nowadays a family’s situation is rarely so straightforward and in my experience, the situations are far too complex to be generalised by gender.
This might sound obvious, but I find that one of the most influential factors in who copes better after divorce is who actually starts the process as there are a number of benefits to doing so.
The petitioner of the divorce has likely prepared for the process both logistically and emotionally. They’ve had time to come to terms with their decision, get advice, arrange a solicitor, inform family and friends of the situation and perhaps arrange an alternative living situation if they plan to move out during the proceedings.
They also dictate the pace of the proceedings. This is huge psychological benefit as it provides the spouse with a sense of control in what is a vulnerable situation.
The divorced spouse is often left feeling rejected, blindsided and will also be the one to have their behaviour, their private life and other intimate details laid out on legal documents, especially if ‘unreasonable behaviour’ is cited as the primary reason for the divorce.
Another key factor is which spouse is best able to keep their emotions under control. Objectively, divorce is little different from a business deal, it’s a negotiation between two parties. If one spouse allows emotions to dictate divorce proceedings, it can often cause them to lose sight of their own best interests.
Divorce requires people to make decisions about crucial matters that will impact them and their family for a long time – such as division of assets, child custody and financial support. When emotions run high, intelligence can run low, and the partner who is able to keep their composure and negotiate in a way that benefits them as opposed to harming their spouse will often find themselves in better standing for the future.
Divorce is a very difficult and emotional process irrespective of gender. It’s very uncommon for one party to not suffer at least some degree of emotional or financial hardship.
During divorce, people are asked to make life decisions when they are least emotionally equipped to do so, I find that the sooner they are able to come to terms with the situation the sooner they are able to approach the process pragmatically, figure what they want from the divorce proceedings to leave themselves in the best possible position going forwards.
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