The supermodel and the billionaire seemed headed for a nasty divorce. For months, Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant had traded sensational accusations: he'd changed the locks on their Connecticut mansion, tried to spy on her, and worked to turn their three children against her; she'd been through rehab twice, stolen and destroyed objects from his art collection, and cheated on him.
Suddenly, after more than a year of public feuding, they decided to reconcile. Why?
The couple asked "that their privacy be respected." But if Brant is a typical man, here's one likely reason: he didn't want to get screwed in divorce court. The odds a man will report that he thinks that men get screwed by the courts in divorce are 1 in 1.22, or 82%.
It's not always a case of he-said, she-said. A fair number of women, 1 in 2.5, agree that men get screwed. On the other hand, 1 in 2.27 women think the two sexes get fair and equal treatment, while just 1 in 6.25 men think so.
Incidentally, those are the same odds-1 in 6.25-a woman thinks that if anything, women get screwed. Not surprisingly, only 1 in 50 men agree with that assessment.
Child custody is a frequently cited inequity. Statistics from 1990 showed that the mother got sole custody 72% of the time. Only 63% of children in the US grow up with both biological parents, according to a 2005 report from the National Marriage Project. Men often complain about having to pay child support without getting to see the children often enough. Those of more spiteful character might want to have it both ways, saying they didn't want the children in the first place-she "tricked" me into having this kid, so why should I have to help support it?
Although state law typically divides assets 50/50 (in the absence of a prenuptial agreement), one still often hears that stereotypical male wail: "She took everything." Why do so many men think getting screwed is the norm?
Some husbands who earned the bulk of the family income may come to feel, justifiably or not, that a half-and-half split is unfair.
Another possible factor: divorce hits men harder emotionally than it does women. A University of California study found that divorced men were twice as likely than married men to commit suicide. For women, there was no difference at all.
Divorce rates have declined since the 1980s. Possible reasons include more couples living together without marrying, a trend towards marrying later in life, an aging population, and mostly recently the Great Recession, making divorce sometimes seem like an unaffordable option. The divorce rate dipped 2.3% between 2005 and 2008, and another 3% just between 2008 and 2009. The US is still "the most marrying of Western nations," according to the National Marriage Project, but the institution appears to be weakening. Despite the declining divorce rate, 1 in 3.24 ever-married women and 1 in 3.32 ever-married men have been divorced. That's a lot of split-ups.
A 2009 study found that divorce tends to spread through social networks . With half a billion people on Facebook, what are the odds the population of Splitsville will start to creep up again?
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