Women are the primary breadwinners in 38 percent of all heterosexual marriages, or about 15 million partnerships, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, when it comes to family-life satisfaction, women who earn more than their husbands report lower satisfaction than their peers who have a lower income than their spouses. Additionally, female breadwinners’ husbands are more likely to commit infidelity or perpetrate domestic abuse against their wives.
While marriage requires a lot of work even in happy relationships, these mentioned factors add unfavorable terms to the 32 percent divorce rate of high-earning women. If you are ready to call it quits and are the high earner in your partnership, here are 10 things you should consider:
- Documents become scarce – When the discussion of divorce starts, important documents have a way of making themselves disappear. Before you venture down that conversation with your partner make sure you have located and photocopied important documents that display shared money, assets, debts, and liabilities.
- Interview Divorce attorneys – It is a good idea to reach out to a local family and divorce attorney to learn more about the process. You should ask about their standing in the community, client reviews, hourly fees, observe whether their personality fits yours, and inquire what type of turn-around time you can expect on phone calls and emails. You should choose the attorney that feels like the most comfortable fit.
- Get Ready to Be Open – Don’t be shy! Talk openly to your advocate. Be open and honest about all the details, shortcomings, and frustrations of your marriage. The more your attorney knows about you and your unique case- the better he or she can fight for you in court.
- Timing can be Key – It may be beneficial for you to try to wait to file until he or she has a reliable income of their own. This will make splitting conversations regarding alimony a bit simpler. Otherwise, the courts may look to you to help support his lifestyle until he can get on his feet.
- Women DO pay alimony – Times have changed. Divorce courts are no longer lagging in the matters of financial fairness as they are in custody cases. If the woman is the higher earner, there’s a good chance she may have to pay her ex-partner alimony for a set period of time.
- You may have to pay for HIS attorney – If you are the higher earner in the marriage, you may be forced to cover the majority of the fees associated with this process. If you want the divorce, his attorney may claim he can’t afford it and that may be justified in the eyes of the court.
- Your ex remarrying can be good for you – If you are ordered by a court to pay alimony because you were the higher earner in the marriage, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. When you see your ex-partner start a new relationship, just know that it may benefit your pockets. If he or she remarries, it is likely that you will no longer have to pay alimony.
- You may have to pay child support – As the higher earner in the marriage, child support laws don’t care that you’re a woman. The law only cares that the child is well taken care of – regardless of whether the child’s custody is given to the mother, father, or split. You may be ordered to pay child support to your ex-partner to ensure that your child’s living condition/lifestyle can remain consistent.
- Try the team approach – If you are both in search of a happier life, you may be able to approach this divorce amicably through mediation. Operating as a team, with the help of an unbiased party and your legal advocates, you can work to divide assets, create child-sharing schedules, and cover most of the divorce process outside of court. Saving yourself money in attorney fees, court fees, and shortening your divorce journey. It makes the process less stressful for you and your children.
- Be willing to Compromise – The process of divorce and splitting assets is a stressful one. A swifter or mediated approach may be best as it allows you to both get on with your lives. This may require you to compromise on things that feel dear to you now – but may not be worth the heartache of a dragged out divorce or court battles.
If you are ready to end your marriage, Sadek and Cooper is here to fight for you and what matters most to you. Call us today to schedule your consult.