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Author Topic: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago  (Read 2766 times)

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Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2012, 05:57:25 PM »
Urban myth.

On average, a woman's standard of living drops 27% after divorce. A man's standard of living rises 10%.

There isn't quite so much "nailing the bastard for everything he's got" as folks seem to think there is.

That data appears to be no more recent than 1996. The source, one of which may be:

A Re-Evaluation of the Economic Consequences of Divorce (PDF)

Doesn't mean the data necessarily doesn't represent today's situation. I do believe however judgements including alimony have decreased fairly significantly over the years, presumably reflecting the narrowing of the income gap. Child support however is a whole different issue.

Offline Torch

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Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2012, 08:39:34 PM »
That data appears to be no more recent than 1996. The source, one of which may be:

A Re-Evaluation of the Economic Consequences of Divorce (PDF)

Doesn't mean the data necessarily doesn't represent today's situation. I do believe however judgements including alimony have decreased fairly significantly over the years, presumably reflecting the narrowing of the income gap. Child support however is a whole different issue.

My info came from The National Marriage Project, a bipartisan, nonsectarian initiative at the University of Virginia, as of 2001.

http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/

6 Following divorce, the womanís standard of living plummets by seventy-three percent while that of the manís improves by forty-two percent.
This dramatic inequity, one of the most widely publicized statistics from the social sciences, was later found to be based on a faulty calculation. A reanalysis of the data determined that the womanís loss was twenty seven percent while the manís gain was ten percent. Irrespective of the magnitude of the differences, the gender gap is real and seems not to have narrowed much in recent decades.6


The above paragraph was actually refuting the long held statistic that an even greater gap existed in which the woman's standard of living decreased 73% while a man's increased 42%.

Either way, the notion that after a divorce men are left destitute while women are living high on the hog is laughable.

Offline vtboy

Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2012, 07:09:59 PM »
My info came from The National Marriage Project, a bipartisan, nonsectarian initiative at the University of Virginia, as of 2001.

http://www.virginia.edu/marriageproject/

6 Following divorce, the womanís standard of living plummets by seventy-three percent while that of the manís improves by forty-two percent.
This dramatic inequity, one of the most widely publicized statistics from the social sciences, was later found to be based on a faulty calculation. A reanalysis of the data determined that the womanís loss was twenty seven percent while the manís gain was ten percent. Irrespective of the magnitude of the differences, the gender gap is real and seems not to have narrowed much in recent decades.6


The above paragraph was actually refuting the long held statistic that an even greater gap existed in which the woman's standard of living decreased 73% while a man's increased 42%.

Either way, the notion that after a divorce men are left destitute while women are living high on the hog is laughable.

Well, "laughable" may be putting too fine a point on things.

Speaking anecdotally, as an attorney who has not been smart enough to turn down divorce cases, the economic consequences of divorce tend to be pretty disastrous for both spouses and tend to be obscured by these sorts of statistics. For one thing, financial hardships attendant to divorce for both husband and wife, like so many other hardships, tend to be more severe for the poor than for the affluent. Further, the relative economic positions of the spouses will vary over time, and will depend largely on whether they have children and what the ages of the children are at the time of the divorce. 

If the couple has young children and the family tends to be more or less "traditional" (i.e., mom is the primary caretaker of the kids, and dad the primary breadwinner), the court will almost always award physical custody of the children to mom. Even where both parents work full time, despite the purported gender-neutrality of our statutes, courts still exhibit a bias in favor of giving the kids to mom. With custody, mom will get the following "subsidies" from dad: (1) child support until the kids reach 21, at "one size fits all" statutory rates which often result in payments that bear little relation to the actual costs of raising the kids (in New York, where I practice, it is roughly 17% of dad's adjusted gross income for 1 kid, 25% for 2 kids, 29% for 3 kids, etc.); (2) health insurance, or at least a share of its cost proportionate to dad's income, plus a similarly proportionate share of the costs of summer camp, day care, unreimbursed medical expenses, and college tuition, room and board; (3) maintenance (what used to be called alimony) which, in the case of a younger spouse, will be "temporary" (i.e., generally 3 - 6 years, designed to support the recipient during a period of professional education or vocational training), and, in the case of an older spouse, will be "permanent" (i.e., until death, retirement or remarriage); and (4) life insurance, in an amount sufficient to cover dad's child support and maintenance obligations should he be fortunate enough to kick the bucket before they have been fully discharged. In addition, if the couple owns a home, sole possession will often go to mom until the children have graduated high school. While mom will generally be responsible for payment of mortgage, taxes, and upkeep on the home during her possession, the practical effect of delaying the home's sale, which is often the couple's most significant asset, will be to deprive dad for many years of use of his share of the equity to purchase living quarters for himself.

The financial consequences are futher complicated by "equitable distribution" -- the division between the spouses of their marital property. Where the property is more or less monetized (e.g., bank accounts, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, etc.), the division is fairly clean. Where, however, the marital property includes non-monetized assets, such as a business operated by the husband or a professional degree or license obtained by the husband during marriage (remember, we are assuming a "traditional" marriage), the wife will generally receive a distributive award (on top of child support, maintenance, etc.) of a substantial share of the thing's hypothetical market value, as determined by some fool the courts have labeled a valuation expert. The distributive award payments can be extremely onerous and, when added to child support, maintenance, etc., may leave precious little of dad's paycheck for his own food clothing and shelter. Moreover, the distributive award payments aren't reduced if the business or the husband's professional practice hits hard times after the divorce. Finally, if the husband had dreams of one day abandoning his stressful and soul-deadening career in favor, say, of becoming a writer or a ballet dancer or a cowboy or a seller of flower leis at the Homolulu airport, his distributive award obligation will likely prevent him from realizing them, turning him into something of an indentured servant.

With the passage of time, of course, in many cases the breadwinner husband's income will continue to rise and all of these obligations will become less oppressive. In contrast, even with the benefit of skills acquired with the help of temporary maintenance, the income of a wife who was a stay-at-home mom or a part-time worker during marriage may not ever reach that of the husband during marriage. Thus, after some years, it may be true that, on average, a divorced wife's income will have declined by 27% while the husband's will have increased by 10%. One must be careful, however, not to conclude from this that the husband is generally the financial "winner" and the wife the financial "loser" in a divorce, or that the system operates to oppress women. The truth is that divorce, like cancer or the loss of a child, is one of those things that tend to wreck lives.

We will leave the emotional and psychological sequelae for another day.   

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2012, 09:05:26 PM »

Either way, the notion that after a divorce men are left destitute while women are living high on the hog is laughable.

I don't disagree with that. But then I didn't use 'destitute' to describe anyone's situation.

Best to stick with my own experiences perhaps, as I can only speak for myself. Today I myself make upwards to 65K a year, where my ex-wife lives at home with her parents, earning a living mopping floors and taking out the trash at a commercial shopping center. She has lived at home since we separated. In 2000. She's a year older than I am, and I'm forty-one. I don't have any reason to believe she'll ever leave home or live on her own.

Is she a victim of this, presumably one-side, arrangement we call divorce?

Neither of us have any notable post-secondary education. She graduated high school, I have my GED. Her parents coddled her and enabled her to (apparently) live at home under no precondition she find her own place, eventually. Keep in mind, while I made/make good money, she gets upwards to $800 in child support per month, and has for now 12 years.

Why she languished living at home, while I prospered on my own, I cannot say. I had no particular advantage that she did not. I certainly didn't have the parental support she had. You could I suppose say that by virtue of my maleness I am inherently gifted by society to succeed where women have a more difficult time. I don't think however that would be a fair statement. Were she to have applied herself, she too could have succeeded on her own. She chose not to however. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 09:10:23 PM by Zeitgeist »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2012, 10:54:56 PM »
Urban myth.

On average, a woman's standard of living drops 27% after divorce. A man's standard of living rises 10%.

There isn't quite so much "nailing the bastard for everything he's got" as folks seem to think there is.
Ah, only if she's a stay at home mom, who doesn't have a new boyfriend.  A woman who works still lives quite well by any standards. vtboy's experience as he described has been what I've seen around me.  Also, bear in mind that the 'alimony' and other payments the woman receives don't stop until she gets married once again (and sometimes, not even then) so she can move in with another man (And often do) and shares his salary along with the extra payments she's getting from her last marriage.

One more thing, statistics are notorious for not showing the whole picture.

Offline Torch

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Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2012, 11:48:20 PM »
Ah, only if she's a stay at home mom, who doesn't have a new boyfriend. 

Actually, no. The standard of living rate change I quoted is standardized for all divorced men and women, across the spectrum, for all ages, with and without dependent children. 

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A woman who works still lives quite well by any standards.

As does a man.

 
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vtboy's experience as he described has been what I've seen around me.

Anecdotal evidence is irrelevant, as you well know.

 
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Also, bear in mind that the 'alimony' and other payments the woman receives don't stop until she gets married once again (and sometimes, not even then) so she can move in with another man (And often do) and shares his salary along with the extra payments she's getting from her last marriage.

Not in my state she can't. Alimony payments cease if the court can prove she is receiving support from a domestic partner (i.e. live in boyfriend). And I would bet my state isn't the only one in which this is the case.

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One more thing, statistics are notorious for not showing the whole picture.

*sigh* I'm well aware of the bias that can be construed from statistical analysis. Nevertheless, I'll take my statistics over your anecdotal evidence  (i.e. "...what I've seen around me.") any day of the week. But if you'd like to argue with the University of Virginia (which oversees the National Marriage Project), please be my guest.

Again, your statement that women are "nailing the bastard for everything he's got" is simply untrue. It may be your opinion (and you are entitled to it), but facts state otherwise.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2012, 10:22:45 AM »
Torch, the 'facts' you're using are statistics.  And statistics don't ever show cause or effect.  They sure seem to, but they don't.  Frankly, I don't trust anyone's numbers.  I trust what I see, in Canada, with my own eyes.  Maybe it is anecdotal, but...  I see the same reports across the Canadian provinces, and the United States.

And frankly, the divorce settlement is stacked against the man.  After all, these 'deadbeat dads' have to come from somewhere right?  And sadly, a lot of them are TRYING to do what the court ordered, but they can't because they don't get that kind of money in.  Read vtboy's statement, all of it.  It's pretty much dead on.

Also, Virginia is just ONE source.  I never trust ONE source.  It has to be from multiple, unaligned sources (Which is actually a lot harder these days) that has similar results.  And I'm not seeing it.

Which is not to say it's actually outright wrong, but...  I need multiple, corroborating sources and I'm not seeing them.

Offline Torch

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Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2012, 10:51:12 AM »
  Frankly, I don't trust anyone's numbers.  I trust what I see, in Canada, with my own eyes. 

Again...irrelevant. I can't say it enough times no matter how many times you choose to ignore it. *shrug*

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And frankly, the divorce settlement is stacked against the man. 

This is your opinion. Which you are entitled to, but again....irrelevant.

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After all, these 'deadbeat dads' have to come from somewhere right?  And sadly, a lot of them are TRYING to do what the court ordered, but they can't because they don't get that kind of money in. 

How many of them are in a they?  Opinion....again.

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Read vtboy's statement, all of it.  It's pretty much dead on.

I did read it. Did you? His conclusion was that, overall, the statistics I offered are accurate. It also is evidence that your statement, i.e. "men are being nailed for everything they got" is inaccurate. There are no "winners" in a divorce; everyone loses.

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Also, Virginia is just ONE source.  I never trust ONE source.  It has to be from multiple, unaligned sources (Which is actually a lot harder these days) that has similar results.  And I'm not seeing it.

Which is not to say it's actually outright wrong, but...  I need multiple, corroborating sources and I'm not seeing them.

And I'm not seeing anything from you, other than your opinion. *shrug*

I can do this all day unless you'd like to offer up something other than your opinion. Otherwise, I think this dead horse has been beaten for more than necessary.

Offline Strident

Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2012, 09:44:14 AM »
Quote
I'm sure he's hurt, but to throw away 77 years?  He's not going to find another woman to have a long happy relationship with at his age.  All he's doing is causing more pain and making sure he'll end up alone.

Ok, call me an ol' cynic, but I reckon a 99 year old man newly available on the dating market could definitely find a "happy" relationship....probably with a woman a quarter of his age...if he has a few dollars in the bank  ;) hehehe. Probably wouldn't be a long relationship mind you.

My more serious comment on this subject is that the fact it was so long ago, may in a way make it worse. Finding out you've been lied to all along might make you second guess everything.

Probably being a little overreactive though...



Offline Frozen Flame

Re: Divorce after 77 years due to an affaire 60 years ago
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2012, 03:32:28 AM »
A bit of a complex issue, when one includes the cultural differences- not only between nations but generations.

On one hand, you can say "Well, it was 60 years ago, let bygones be bygoes." But on the other hand... trust is an important thing for a lot of people, and he only found out about this because he was digging around in the attic. Had she confessed to him or some such, his reaction may have been tempered.

Not only that, but there's more we don't, and probably never can know. Assuming he was faithful, who knows how many times he resisted opportunities to get a little somethin-somethin on the side? He may have not only been faithful, but the model of a good husband, and then after 77 years, finds all that faithfulness to be... well, wasted. Of course, it's just as possible that he got a little piece of tail somewhere along the line and is just being a flaming hypocrite. Like the licks to the center of a tootsie pop, the world may never find out.

Also, as for whether adultery is more stigmatized for men than women... it's hard to say. It's really all about perspective. In most of the modern portrayals of the subject that I've seen, men who stray on their significant others are depicted as sleazy backstabbing narcissistic sociopaths, and the media portrayals of women doing essentially the same thing seem to be gentler, presenting all sorts of "mitigating" circumstances. But I also realize, that as a guy, I'm prone to be more sensitive to possibly isolated examples of such things, and therefore try to move past the bias. A woman looking at the subject may see cheating women portrayed as homewrecking hussies, with men being lauded as studs. I would disagree with this, but again, it all comes down to perspective.