Successful Women & Divorce

Good news: A record 40% of women are now the primary breadwinners in their households. The bad news: Women are having to pay up! 

45% of divorce lawyers have noted a sizable uptick in the number of women having to make alimony payments to their exes and some estimates suggest rates are up from 1 in 100 divorced women to 1 in 5. That means, throughout the process, affluent female clients are confronted with more complex custody battles, litigation, and stress.

The good news is—and you may want to share this with your friends—if you know what to expect, you’ll be able to slip the punches you see coming and roll with the ones you don’t. This applies to lots of women since 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce and the stats are worse on second and third marriages. 

Let’s Talk Alimony

Here’s the latest. For better or worse (and for richer or poorer), alimony is a gender-neutral reality of splitting up that can cost the primary earner up to 40% of their income. Today, only about 10% of divorces result in alimony payments, but men are increasingly on the receiving end. 

Alimony and child support, as you know, are two very different things. Child support is for your children. Alimony payments are for your former spouse and the chances you’ll have to pay go up significantly if they’re disabled or otherwise unable to find enough work to support themselves.

A Mountain of Litigation

The gears of the law turn slowly and during divorce proceedings your ex may throw an entire Home Depot worth of wrenches into the works. A particularly contentious divorce can take years to resolve and you’re going to need to be ready to spend a lot of your time in attorney meetings and standing in front of a judge. 

When you’re working 40 hours a week it’s going to be exhausting and spouses and lawyers may try to take advantage. Litigious processes can be abused to waste your time, burn out your emotions and generally make your life a living hell. 

Women we see succeed at this, figure out how to stay calm and remember there’s a reason you’re closing this door. 

Your Friends May Withdraw

A divorce is second only to death of a spouse when it comes to stress and anxiety and an exacerbating factor is the tendency of friends and support systems to withdraw, gossip and pick sides. It can be deeply hurtful and leave you feeling isolated when you need them the most and divorces are the time when many people find out who their real friends are; but there are resources at your fingertips when divorce comes calling. 

Business owners are beginning to see the wrecking ball impact divorce has on their employees and bottom-line profits. Check to see if your HR department offers Divorce Right, Inc. divorce sensitivity training and private coaching services in its suite of offerings. Divorce is not the time to go without the right support and experience you need to thrive on the other side. 

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Any divorce is a strain on the mind, body, or spirit, but for the career-oriented, successful women it can turn into an expensive and complicated disaster. Making it to the other side is going to take the poise and skill that helped you break into banks, boardrooms, and business schools across the country but with a little preparation, the right support and guidance (and a lot of grace under fire), you’ll be able to emerge empowered to make the next chapter in your life the best you’ve ever written. 

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping it will transform into a door.”
-Coco Chanel


By Paulette Rigo

Paulette is the CEO Better Divorce Academy, Author, and Divorce Expert. Empowering successful businesswomen to conquer divorce with her #1 Best Selling book, workbook, and course, “Better Divorce Blueprint.” Through private mediation, consulting, and coaching, she guides clients to emerge confident and thriving, even in high-conflict cases. She shares her time between ATL and Belize with her husband and Chiweenie named Lulu.

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