Marjorie JamesThis title sounds a bit redundant, does it not? Of course divorce divides! However, it seems to me that some firms play on the division and even exacerbate the situation. That came to me as I was riding on a bus and noticed an ad for divorce services for men. I wondered about that focus, so when I got home, I searched “divorce for men” on my computer. It yielded five pages of matches. Obviously this was not an isolated concept in law.

I purposely did not look up the firm whose ad I had seen, just to be fair. My search led me to many firms and to many statistics. The two themes that seemed to dominate were financial considerations and parenting plans.

One firm in Michigan stated that “It’s a fact that women initiate over 85% of all divorces in this country.” That seemed quite high to me, so I went to a website that compiled government statistics. They said that women initiated 65% of divorces. The Michigan firm then said, “It is not because women are less happy in marriage than men are; they just know they have an advantage both financially and regarding child custody.”

Another website, from a firm in the Northeast, said that men are at a disadvantage because women who file for divorce already have an attorney and a “money plan” in place before the husband knows anything is happening. Again, this makes it sound like most women are “out for the money.”

I then looked at what seemed like a non-biased, reputable website specializing in divorce statistics. They said that of women who divorced between 2010 and 2011, 27% reported a household income of less than $25,000, and that 75% of children of divorce live primarily with their mothers. These two statistics don’t seem to back up the previous assumptions about women, greed, and divorce.

I am not bashing men, nor am I presuming that all women are piranhas being helped by evil, greedy attorneys. These are, for the most part, unfair stereotypes. However, wouldn’t a law firm that treated all people involved in a divorce with equity and dignity make more sense? Collaborative law firms are dedicated to a dignified approach to divorce with an outcome that is fair to all parties involved. Why pit men against women or women against men? It seems that all lose in that scenario.

Copyright 2013. Marjorie E. James. All rights reserved.