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Marriage and Divorce

Literature Review

When marriages come to their unforeseen end, there are long protracted court battles over property ownership and children custody. The once married couple torn apart by differences in their marriage will be driven further apart by the court battles (Brinig & Allen, 2000). Many states have come up with several laws governing division of property between the couples where properties, especially those acquired during the marriage period, are divided equally. Properties that were earned as gifts or inheritance may be divided at the couple’s discretion. However, when compared to their male divorcees, female divorcees remain relatively poor even though they divide the properties equally. This paper aims at looking into the possible connection between divorce and poverty among women given that many women are employed and are financially independent (Ducanto, 2010).

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While most of the divorce cases have been presented before the judges with reasons, divorces without fault are as a result of mutual agreement hence have no legal basis (Confessore, 2010). However, the women usually end up poorer than the men. This points to the fact that such divorce cases are a major contributor to poverty among women in the society today. While many couples sign prenuptial agreements, they are usually made in a hurry and out of emotional excitement. Thus, most of these agreements are usually informal agreements decided by the partners and formalized by the judge in the presence of their lawyers. Most prenuptial agreements are not comprehensive enough to shield either partners from the pitfalls that usually characterize the process of divorce and property sharing (Davis, 2010). The unlucky group in such agreements after divorce is usually women who end up poor. The resulting scenario is a society filled with divorced but poor women and divorced rich men.

The alimony law which requires equally sharing of property owned by either partner at the time of divorce usually lead to poverty among employed and financially stable women. This law only works for those women married to rich husbands while oppressing women married to the low income earners. They usually end up poor as they will end with little or no property after divorce. Men usually enjoy pension rights unlike women who will only have the property given to them by the law. Moreover, these women who are unemployed also pay tax on the property. When mothers win the custody of the children they will incur losses in terms of legal fees (Vedantam, 2011) as the father will only pay children support money and not for their mother’s upkeep (Child Support Issues, 2012). The result is a poor divorced mother who is imprisoned by the burden of taking of her children.

All in all, this article is biased even by the admittance of its author especially on the case of signing of prenuptials. The author only concentrates on the failed cases to justify his case. This article should consider drawing comparisons between the failed cases of prenuptials. Moreover, it should incorporate more real life cases and present such examples as justification of its case. The question of poverty among women should be addressed wholly and not only from the divorce angle. In conclusion, poverty among divorced women is a reality in the society that needs to be tackled.


Brinig, M., & Allen, D. (2000). These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers are Women. American Law and Economics Review, 2(1), 126–129.

Child Support Issues. (2012). Web.

Confessore, N. (2010). N.Y. Moves Closer to No-Fault Divorce. The New York Times. Web.

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Davis, M. (2010). The Changing Nature of Marriage and Divorce. The National Bureau of Economic Research. Web.

Ducanto, J. (2010). Divorce and Poverty Are Often Synonymous. American Journal of Family Law, 78, 87 – 94.

Vedantam, S. (2011). Marriage Economy: ‘I Couldn’t Afford to Get Divorced’. NPR. Web.

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"Marriage and Divorce." StudyCorgi, 25 Dec. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Marriage and Divorce'. 25 December.

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