Two key areas that parents have to consider during a divorce are their custody arrangements and how being single parents will impact them financially. You may be surprised to learn just how closely these two things are linked.
Let’s start by noting that sole custody used to be more popular than it is today, with women tending to get the children. These days, the norm for a modern court is to seek a more equal division of time. There is no assumption that fathers cannot raise their children or that mothers do not need to work. The world has changed and it is reflected in the way courts make these rulings.
Breaking down the numbers
In fact, a quick look at some key numbers shows that a 50/50 child custody split is financially beneficial in that it can reduce the gender pay gap. For instance, 2,200 mothers were polled and it was found that mothers who split their custody with the children’s fathers had a stunning 54% greater chance of making $100,000 per year. Those without a 50/50 split were more likely to earn less.
Why is this? One potential reason is that sharing custody allows women to focus on their careers in the same way that men do, and they can then be far more successful than if they have to take on the entire burden of raising the kids.
It’s also worth noting that child support doesn’t offer as much help as people assume. Only one out of every three mothers even get child support at all. Those that do get an average of $480 every month — and that’s just the court order. When you average out how much they actually receive, it’s a meager $287 per month. This makes it clear that women are better off financially when they share custody, not when they collect support.
Considering all of your options
There are a lot of issues to think about with children and finances after a divorce. Make sure that you carefully consider all of the options that you have.