Friday, May 4, 2012

Material Incentives Against Divorce?

One of the main topics in the manosphere is the harsh divorce regime that every married man risks being  subjected to. Since family courts can be quite arbitrary and tend to be pro-female, a man could face a serious reduction in the quality of his life if his wife decides to divorce him.

Some manosphere commentators, notably TFH, have argued that the main reason why divorce is so common is because women do not face a reduction in their standard of living when they divorce. They point out that the divorce rate in many third-world and second-world countries is quite low compared to many developed countries (the Status of Men Index backs this up). I find this assertion difficult to dispute. It seems that once again, economics rules.

This got me thinking about how to set up an economically-based anti-divorce incentive system in a first-world country. Obviously, you can't make it so that the woman is impoverished if she divorces you, nor can you really make it so that her standard of living drops below your level. This is in part because women have extensive access to high-paying employment, despite the gnashing of teeth over the 77-cent statistic. My idea (tell me if it's been mentioned before) is to set up cash incentives against divorce. In other words, elevate her standard of living ABOVE yours while she is married to you, so it drops to your level if she divorces you.

Now there are several problems with this. Family court judges can be arbitrary, and may order you to still pay these incentives after the divorce. However, I don't think they would have much legal precedent to do so, and a good attorney could probably shift things in your favor. The details of how it would be setup are also murky; I am no expert on these matters. You'd probably have to divide assets 50/50 in the beginning.

There is also the problem of feeding an entitlement complex, since she would come to expect the rewards, and could decide to divorce you if she stops getting them for whatever reason (say you lose your job or something). So you can see that there are some questionable aspects to such a setup, and I don't even know if it'll work. I need feedback.


  1. I think you are on the right track. But a problem is that if she is consuming the majority of resources in the marriage, she will start to think of the man as lesser status. (Basically the man is paying her to stay in a situation that isn't ideal for her). This will lead to a loss of attraction and then a higher chance of divorce.

    What about a pre-nup agreement in which both parties promise to give 10-20% of their salaries to a charity of the other's choice after a divorce? This will decrease the appeal of divorce. And there won't be a need for the man to take lesser status during marriage.

    I know little about divorce, so I don't know how enforceable such an agreement would be.

  2. The charity idea is a good one, as long as the wife doesn't plan on just mooching off somebody after she divorces. Maybe make it so that assets have to be given away as well as salaries.

  3. Changing the laws so women can no longer walk away with men's wealth (ie. child support and alimony), the elimination of "no fault divorce" and the end of child custody being awarded to women the overwhelming majority of the time would change divorce rates in a heartbeat.

    Its that simple.

    Until these things change along with other anti-male laws it is absolutely foolish for a man to even consider marriage.