Divorced Men Move on More Quickly than Divorced Women – Part 1

As divorce and family law attorneys, we keep track of clients both during and after divorce. Recently, the Huffington Post ran an article by journalist Vicki Larson entitled, Why Divorced Men Are Quick to Marry Again. The article was informative and included information from the census report, Marital Events of Americans: 2009, as well as bloggers, a therapist, other authors, and social workers. Nevertheless, as a large divorce firm we feel that there is a factor that was not properly highlighted—many women wait far too long to commence the divorce process.

When counseling our clients for the first time, we ask, “Who wanted the divorce?” and “What happened to your relationship?” Most often, the man has driven the divorce process. More than 70% of our clients who are female and starting divorces state that they are doing so because the man told them it was “over” or the man’s actions clearly led them to believe this. By the time a woman launches divorce proceedings, the man has moved on emotionally, financially, and often romantically, whether it is in his actions or in his own mind and/or plans.

Often when the man starts the divorce, we ask the same questions during our initial intake. Surprisingly, more than 50% of them state their wives will be surprised or won’t believe they have taken this step.

Believe it. In our experience, when the relationship is souring, most of the time the man will act first, or fire the first shot. Many men work in male-dominated jobs such as unionized work, as a police officer, firefighter, railroad employee, or during a male-dominated shift (usually the nightshift). They talk and plan divorce strategies while avoiding discussion of emotional and sensitive issues.

The economy has only increased the likelihood of the man seeking a divorce first. More men are unemployed than ever before, thus giving them more free time. In the vast majority of custody cases—over 75% where a man is seeking child custody—we have noticed that the man has a flexible schedule or a very conducive working environment. Once again, when a female client comes to our office for the initial intake and is holding papers that she was served wherein her husband is seeking custody, she is for the most part surprised that he would go to this extreme. Believe it.

Furthermore, NBC’s The Today Show on October 18, 2011 offered a piece of journalism concluding that in a recession, infidelity almost doubles for men while remaining the same for women.

Only in very rare occasions is anything ever gained by waiting to divorce. From a social or personal point of view, we have no opinion as to whether or not it is good or bad for someone to wait. We have no opinion as to whether second chances should be given or if cooling off periods and counseling will be effective. We only see the worst cases—those in which the above methods have failed. However, there is one thing we can be most certain of: if you are married to someone that does not love you, you are in peril. From a legal point of view, fire the first shot.

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