When it comes to divorce, the negative aspects tend to get a great deal of attention, whether it is the wrenching emotional trials or the long-term financial implications.
To be sure, there is much that can be said about how an acrimonious separation can negatively affect everyone involved. However, our Birmingham family law attorneys also know that there are equally as many benefits, even if those aren't immediately apparent.This could be anything from emotional freedom from an abusive or loveless relationship to the financial freedom to make your own choices about saving and spending.
A recent article in Bloomberg indicated that these benefits are not only apparent in the First World. According to the United Nations, divorce rates have climbed steadily from 2007 to 2011, even in nations outside of North America, Europe and Australia. For example, divorces in Mexico have inched upward from a rate of 0.3 divorces per 1,000 people to 0.8 divorces per 1,000 people. In Brazil, where divorce was illegal just three decades ago, the divorce rate recently hit 1.4 per 1,000 people. Also in Iran, South Korea and China, divorce rates have spiked some 500 percent or more in the last 20 to 30 years.
(The U.S., by contrast, has a divorce rate of 3.6 per 1,000 people.)
One might think the effect of this would be negative, after all we've been led to believe about divorce. Some associate higher divorce rates with higher rates of welfare and juvenile crime, for example. But in these other countries, what is being reported is an improvement in quality of life for women in particular. The suggestion is that when people are able to exit bad marriages, the better society is as a whole.
The International Food Policy Research Institute recently studied the issue and surmised that polices that give women more option in marriage (and divorce) find households that are more productive. In countries where equal division of assets was mandated, women were overall more satisfied with life, believed they had greater control over their destinies and their children (especially the girls) were more likely to finish school.
In fact, the number of women completing education as a whole has climbed in areas where the divorce rate has also increased. In South Asia, it's tripled.
Additionally, the higher divorced rates have been associated with shifting norms about what women are willing to accept in a relationship. They are less likely to tolerate abuse. They tend to have higher educations and fewer children. Maternal mortality rates decline and economic stations improve for one-half of the nation's population.
Of course, assurance of a better life after divorce requires that a number of factors be in place, and that includes improved gender equality as a society overall. In the U.S., we are closer to this goal than most.
Here, what you need to ensure your divorce be will beneficial right out of the gate is a proper amount of planning. Consulting with an experienced divorce attorney before you even speak to your spouse about your final decision may allow you to make some strategic moves that could put you in a better position for stepping out on your own.
What we truly hope to underscore here is that you should take the negative rhetoric about divorce with a grain of salt. There are many ways that it's helping to improve lives all over the globe. That's not to say it's always easy or without potential pitfalls. But no one should feel locked into a relationship for fear that what's on the other side will be far worse. Indeed, you may find just the opposite.
If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.
Divorce's Rise in Emerging Economies Helps Women Get Ahead, Sept. 5, 2013, By Charles Kenny, Bloomberg Businessweek