Divorce Gender Gap: Women Often Settle Too Quickly Out of Fear & Uncertainty

Richmond Tymchuk Family Law

Divorce Gender Gap: Women Often Settle Too Quickly Out of Fear & Uncertainty

Richmond Tymchuk Family Law

Women Often Settle Too Quickly

We’ve noticed that women tend to be more keen to settle their divorce quickly. Let’s discuss why that might be, and why this isn’t always the best choice even when you’re eager to finalize your divorce.


You want to settle the divorce quickly because of worries about legal fees

Taking your divorce to court when you’re struggling financially can be a challenge. As women still tend to earn less than men, we more often see women eager to settle their case quickly out of fear of mounting legal fees. 

Lately, we’ve seen celebs talking about their divorces and feeling pressured to settle because they weren’t the breadwinner and don’t have incomes to keep fighting for their equal share. 

Actor Alice Evans has been vocal about her divorce challenges and discussed them with Grazia. ‘Two actors cannot both work because it’s impossible to work in the same city. I accepted to step down because he earned more money. It was hard. Real hard. [But] I felt I was doing my bit for the family.’

After 13 years of marriage her husband left to start a new relationship with one of his co-stars in a production. Alice Evans shares not only how emotionally challenging this has been but also how this has impacted her financially. Her advice to women starting down this road is to not settle too quickly, and we would agree with this statement.

It’s easy to see how Alice, and other women in similar situations, would be eager to settle and regain control of their finances. Let’s explore these and some other reasons why some women settle earlier than perhaps they should. 


You want to settle the divorce quickly to wrap things up

Divorce is a painful, emotional and exhausting time for clients, and we understand that you won’t want to draw out the process. However, it can be a strategic decision to preserve and fight for what you’re entitled to. 

We’ve been approached by women who regret settling early and giving up their entitlements because they just wanted to move past it. Once they get out of the emotional fog of divorce and can see clearly, they wish they had done it differently. 

Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a do-over on your settlement after the ink has dried. We recommend listening to your lawyer and sticking with it when the going is tough as any funds you are entitled to can drastically change your long term future, as well as your children’s future financial options. 

You’re uncomfortable negotiating

From when you were a young girl you may have been trained to be polite, accept what’s been offered, and not cause a scene or get greedy. Your partner on the other hand, may have been trained to be ambitious and shoot for the stars. His gendered experience may have given him expectations of entitlement that you did not. 

These reasons and more create striking differences in willingness to negotiate and the effectiveness of your negotiations. We see this show up very clearly in negotiation stages of divorce with women being much more likely to agree to a settlement that doesn’t include everything it could. 

A good divorce lawyer will be the one negotiating on your behalf and will advise you on what you’re entitled to and should consider asking for as part of your settlement. A good divorce lawyer will also identify when it looks like you’re being taken advantage of. At Richmond Tymchuk Family Law LLP, we pride ourselves on achieving great results for our clients and are experts at negotiating to achieve a fair outcome. 


You’re underestimating the future value of assets

Sometimes, you might want to stay in the family home, and prioritize this as the number one goal you want from the settlement. It’s important to consider all assets for what they are. Let’s assume the house is valued at $500,000. Your ex might have an asset like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) which is valued at $500,000. You might assume that these assets could be split between the couple so that you retain the house, and they retain the RRSP. However, the future value of these assets should be taken into account as a house may not appreciate at the same level as the RRSP or may have many additional costs associated with it. 


Settling Quickly to Reduce Legal Fees Comes With a Larger Cost 

In our practice we’ve found that the primary reason women are eager to settle quickly is that they’re concerned with how much the divorce is going to cost. 

‘Women often settle too quickly because they’re worried about paying legal fees,’ says Diana J. Richmond, KC. ‘It’s important to talk to your divorce lawyer about this so you know your options before making a settlement decision. Ensure you have full disclosure on what your spouse is earning, what their mortgage is, their outgoings are. Knowing the full picture helps you make better decisions about your divorce settlement.’

Getting divorced is an intricate process that is best navigated with the assistance of a specialized divorce lawyer. Contact Richmond Tymchuk Family Law today to help make your divorce as painless and as efficient as possible.

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