The recent pandemic has exposed a lot of the underlying inequities in people’s marriages, which in some instances is resulting in more divorces. Covid-19 has greatly widened the equality gap. Job losses for women have been far higher than for men. Social distancing has primarily affected industries that are women led, such as hospitality, travel, and restaurants. With a majority of schools closed over the course of the pandemic childcare has become a central issue for most families. Even if both parents are working from home, women on average are doing 15 more hours a week of domestic labor than their male partners.
The pandemic has put a strain on marriages that already had an unequal division of labor. Lyn Lenz, a 33-year-old stay at home mother of two with a background in writing details her struggles in this article for Glamor magazine. She found that working to balance her writing career and childcare was having grave emotional and physical costs. She had moved to Cedar Rapids for her husband’s job in 2005, but her prospects to advance her writing career in a small city were limited. After getting a book deal and hiring babysitters and house cleaners to ease the burden of domestic tasks so she could write, she hit breaking point and decided to file for divorce.
She further explains that with a shared parenting plan the duties of childcare were split equally between her and her ex-husband. Gone were the days of scrambling to find childcare, or to convince her husband to hire a babysitter so that she could get some writing time in.
Unfortunately, she also found herself confronting the judgment of family and friends who criticized her for prioritizing her career over parenting. However, the assumption that women are the primary custodial parent are all but over in most states. In 2017 alone more than 20 states were considering legislation that would make a shared parenting plan the presumption rather than the exception. While there are situations where share custody is not appropriate, including where there are mental health issues or domestic violence, most studies have shown that the equal involvement of both parents in raising children is in the children’s best interest.
Share parent plans have also proven to be beneficial for women, according to a survey of women which found that women who had 50/50 custody arrangements earned more, were more satisfied with their lives and were happier about being single parents.
While divorce can be an incredibly difficult experience it also provides an opportunity to redraw the boundaries of your life, including your parenting arrangement. There is no one-size fits all custody arrangement. Every situation is unique and at Mansur Law Group we try to provide suggestions to fit your needs and ensure success for you and your family in the future.
If you are considering hiring a divorce attorney to move forward with your divorce and you are ready to begin the divorce process and want to understand all your options, then please call us at (978) 341-5040 for a consultation today.
Image courtesy of: Roby Hartland https://www.flickr.com/photos/135547859@N05/22166728461