Back in the day I used to sing along with Johnny Taylor as he sang "It's cheaper to keep her." As for many songs I heard from the 70's, I only knew the chorus lines. I guess I wasn't really listening to the lyrics because I didn't know he was discussing the financial issues related to divorce. One line in the song says, " You didn't pay but two dollars
To bring the little girl home. Now you're about to pay two thousand to leave her alone." That was back in the seventies, now it costs more than two thousand to leave him or her alone.
While reading the AARP Bulletin the other day, I ran across an article entitled "Divorce Will Cost You." I learned lots of interesting information. For instance, did you realize that the divorce rate for people 50 and over has doubled in the last two decades? Or did you realize that 25% of divorces in 2010 were for people age 50 and older? This is a new trend in America as the divorce rate among people 50 and up doubled between 1990 and 2010.
One would think that couples age 50+ couples would be more settled. If these couples married in their twenties, most of them have been married for twenty-five to thirty years. Why would they wait that long to call it quits? My first thought is because they chose to stay until their children are grown and are no longer living with them. According to the article, the reason for divorcing are for the same reasons young couples go their separate ways including: being bored with their partner, harboring grudges, seeking a different type of life, or falling in love with someone else.
Have you ever thought about the cost of getting a divorce? It is not cheap, in fact the loss is huge for both parties. Attorneys and court fees, counseling and mediation costs, and relocation expenses are just part of the many expenses of getting a divorce. Even though both spouses must bear the financial burden of divorce, men fair better than women. On average a man's income drops 23% after divorce, while a woman's income drops 41%. Because the man is typically the breadwinner, the household income drops significantly. Child support and even alimony are often not enough to make up the difference.
Whether you are in your 20's, 30's 40's or 50"s there is never a good time to divorce. Individuals in their 50"s may have more equity in their homes and more money in their retirement plan or may have been married long enough to collect (10 years) to collect social security on their spouse. However, the cost is still great. If you are thinking about remarriage, the success rate goes down each time you remarry. You could easily be back in the same boat five or ten years from now.
If you are thinking about divorce, contemplate the costs. Don't just think about the financial costs, but also think about the emotional costs to your family. Instead, spend your money on a good counselor and try to find a way to work out your differences. You may find that the cost is too great and determine that "it's cheaper to keep her or him!