Divorce: Who Files First? Men or Women?

When it comes to divorce, which gender usually files first? And why? In this article, we’ll look into why it seems women file for divorce more often than men do.

Women and Divorce

Women being first to file for divorce seems to be related to not only socio-economic trends, but also changes in divorce law as well as some basic gender differences. Here are some top reasons for why women turn to divorce sooner than their male spouses.

Socio-economic Trends

As we move forward in time, and increasing steadily since WWII, women are more educated and more career-oriented, than in previous times. Because of this, women are more able to stand on their own two feet when it comes to financial issues. No longer are they dependent on male spouses to “bring home the bacon” and support the household. While this may not be the reason for divorce, this is often the fact that empowers women to feel “unstuck” if they do seek divorce.  Additionally, the stigma surrounding divorce has decreased.

Divorce Law

“No-fault” divorces now allow for both spouses to move away from the marriage without being accused of wrong-doing. Divorce is no longer a life-sentence – in fact, in a lot of ways it’s a chance for people to be “re-born” into a more fruitful life situation.

Gender roles

Men often fall into the “complacent” category – meaning that often a greater life change awaits them when a marriage ends. While a majority of households now share tasks such as grocery shopping, meal-naking, and childen-raising, it’s not so long ago that men didn’t need to worry about these tasks. But also, because there is a stigma that men do not get awarded custody of children, there’s a fear amongst men that if they leave, they will lose their ability to have a connection with their children. Luckily, shared custody agreements are changing this tradition of thought. Additionally, another reason why women might file more often than their male counterparts comes down to emotions. Often hitting that “enough is enough” mark is reason alone for women to file papers.


Source: Divorced Moms, 6 Reasons Women File for Divorce More Often Than Men, March 4, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

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