Incentives Matter

This is probably a good thing:

Women are backing out of divorce cases because settlements are becoming less generous, experts have said.

Fewer wives are being awarded income for life and they are increasingly having their divorce settlement limited to a few years.

This is making some of them back off from going through with a split, law firms say.

In a landmark case in 2014, the High Court ruled that judges should prioritise a “transition to independence”, even if this involved “a degree of (not undue) hardship”.

Back around the time of the global financial crisis, I heard somewhere that the divorce rate had dropped in London as women found their husband’s asset pile, and by extension their expected payout, was suddenly worth a lot less. As Tim Worstall is fond of pointing out, incentives matter and it has been obvious for a long time that many women initiate a divorce in the hope of securing a hefty settlement rather than working to save the relationship. The law now recognises this, hence the divorce rate at the margins has fallen.

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6 thoughts on “Incentives Matter

  1. It was rather inevitable that the old comfortable lifetime pension from the ex-husband would not survive modern feminism and sexual equality dogma.

    As you say, probably a good thing.

  2. They’re pretty much useless in England.

    Also Canada. They can serve as evidence of intent and that’s about it.

    many women initiate a divorce in the hope of securing a hefty settlement rather than working to save the relationship.

    Lifetime monogamy is not a natural state for homo sapiens sapiens and an awful lot of societal evolution has gone into providing strong incentives to stay in a marriage for life. It should not be a surprise that as modern feminism dismantles those incentives, the marriage rate plummets (and by contrast, when those incentives are reinstated the divorce rate plummets)

  3. Good news. Now if we can start working on divorced men actually being able to see their kids…

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