Do Men Gain Economically from Divorce?

One of the most pervasive and pernicious myths of our time is the idea that men gain economically from divorce while women suffer from it. The myth stems from a now discredited study conducted over two decades ago by feminist Lenore Weitzman, author of the 1985 book The Divorce Revolution. Weitzman concluded that women’s standard of living after divorce dropped by three quarters while men’s rose over 40%. The media trumpeted her research and it led to sharp increases in child support guidelines. However, years later Weitzman was forced to admit that her findings were vastly overstated, due to a huge mathematical error.

Despite this, the myth that men gain economically from divorce remains pervasive, and is repeated even today by numerous writers and commentators, including conservatives like Dennis Prager, feminists like Ann Crittenden, and even by masculists like Tom Leykis.

Sanford Braver, Ph.D., one of the nation’s leading experts on the economics of divorce, helped uncover and expose the Weitzman hoax. He believes that when all relevant factors are taken into account, including the numerous tax advantages custodial parents enjoy, the “men gain/women lose” idea is badly in error. In fact, his new research indicates that the opposite outcome may be more common.

Braver, the author of Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths, and Seattle family law attorney Lisa Scott, founder of Taking Action Against Bias in the System (TABS), will joined to discuss child support and post-divorce living standards.

To learn more about Braver’s work, see his web page here. Also see:

  • ABC News interview with Braver: Divorced Dads: New Research Suggests Conventional Wisdom Is Exaggerated (1/10/01).
  • Glenn’s column: New Study Punctures Myth of Uncaring Divorced Dad (Newsday, 6/23/03)
  • Cathy Young’s Book rebuts divorced dad myths (Detroit News, 10/21/98)
  • Glenn’s column: New Study, Case May Help California Children of Divorce Retain Bonds with Both Parents (Pasadena Star-News &Affiliated Papers, 6/5/03)
  • Donna Laframboise’s Odd man out (National Post, 12/1/98)
  • Glenn’s column: Divorced from Reality on Child Support (Newark Star-Ledger, 9/6/02) (co-authored by Dianna Thompson of the National Family Justice Association).

To learn more about Lisa Scott see:

  • Lisa’s Gender bias no cure for domestic violence (Seattle Times, 10/24/01)
  • Visit Taking Action Against Bias in the System.

Read Glenn’s columns quoting Lisa:

  • Convicted Murderess Can Get Custody but Decent Fathers Can’t (Houston Chronicle, 9/19/03)
  • Baseball Player’s Domestic Violence Arrest Demonstrates How Men are Presumed Guilty in Domestic Disputes (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 8/8/02)

Listen to the archives of Lisa’s previous appearances on His Side:

  • Darkness at Noon: Soviet-Style Re-education in State Mandated ‘Batterers’ Classes (12/7/03),
  • Father Spends 3 Months in Jail for Returning Phone Call (9/7/03)
  • Seattle Press Brands Cops as Batterers (8/3/03)
  • Heroic Los Angeles Father Risks Jail Rather than Lose His Daughter (4/13/03).