Archive for November, 2011

Woman and Marriage after 40

Friday, November 11th, 2011

In the mid-1980s, an infamous story in Newsweek infuriated feminists by asserting that a single, college-educated 40-year old woman was more likely to die in a terrorist attack that walk down the aisle as a bride. The claim, which worked its way into movies and sitcoms, suggests that these educated women faced the fate of ending their lives as unmarried women.

A recent briefing paper from the Council on Contemporary Families states that historically woman with a college degree have been the “least likely” group to ever marry, these numbers are changing with every decade.

The report, by economists Betsey Stevenson and student Adam Isen of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, analyzes the data on marriage, education and women and suggest that for college-educated woman who hope to marry, the news is good.

In 1950, 90 percent of the white female high school graduates had married by the age of 40, compared to 85 percent of the college-educated women. Thirty years later, educated women began closing the gap. In 1980, 92 percent of the 40-year old white college graduates had married, compared with 96 percent of the high school graduates. Since then, marriage rates have fallen for all groups, but the chance of a woman marrying by 40 with or without a degree is about the same.

The paper illuminates the marriage over 40 question. College-educated woman who are unmarried at 40 are twice as likely to marry in the next 10 years as unmarried woman who have only high school educations.

New Divorce Reality: Fathers Win Custody

Monday, November 7th, 2011

According to Working Mothers Magazine, some 2.2 million divorced women in the United States do not have primary physical custody of their children, and an estimated 50 percent of fathers who seek custody in a disputed divorce are granted it.

The “new reality” of divorce is those women who are the primary earners in a marriage often see their husbands gain primary physical custody of their children when the marriage ends. Not long ago, Moms (working or stay at home) almost always got the kids in messy divorce wars because judges were swayed by the so-called “tender-years doctrine,” a presumption that mothers are the more suitable parents for children under seven. Many states have abolished this; moreover, women are poised to outnumber men in the work force for the first time in American history. The Great Recession has produced “a burgeoning crop of Mr. Moms.”

“Men are now able to argue that they spend more time with the kids than their working wives do,” says the veteran New York City divorce attorney Raoul Felder.

The percentage of fathers with primary custody will likely increase, which is one more example of shifting social views about parenting.