Divorce American Style: What It Means and How to Avoid It

Divorce American Style

Divorce is never easy, but some divorces are harder than others. If you’ve ever heard of the term “divorce american style”, you might wonder what it means and how it differs from other types of divorce. In this blog post, we’ll explain the origin and meaning of this term, the challenges and costs of getting a divorce american style, and some tips on how to prevent or cope with it.

What is divorce american style?

The term “divorce american style” was popularized by a 1967 comedy film of the same name, starring Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds as a suburban couple who decide to end their 17-year marriage after constant bickering and counseling fail to resolve their problems1. The film satirizes the high alimony payments, the legal battles, the social stigma, and the emotional turmoil that many divorcing couples faced in the US at that time.

Divorce american style film was inspired by the fact that the US had one of the highest divorce rates in the world in the 1960s, and that divorce laws were often unfavorable to men, who had to pay hefty alimony to their ex-wives regardless of their income or circumstances2. The film also reflects the changing attitudes and values of the American society in the wake of the sexual revolution, the women’s liberation movement, and the rise of consumerism.

While the film is a satire, it also depicts some of the realities and challenges of getting a divorce in the US, which are still relevant today. According to the American Psychological Association, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the US divorce, and the divorce rate is even higher for subsequent marriages3. Divorce can have a significant impact on the financial, emotional, and physical well-being of the spouses and their children, as well as on their social and professional relationships.

What are the challenges and costs of getting a divorce american style?

Getting a divorce in the US can be a complicated, lengthy, and expensive process, depending on the state laws, the type of divorce, and the level of conflict between the spouses. Some of the common challenges and costs of getting a divorce american style are:

  1. Legal fees: The average cost of a divorce in the US is about $15,000 per person, but it can vary widely depending on the state, the complexity of the case, and the attorney’s fees. Some of the factors that can increase the legal fees are the need for mediation, arbitration, or litigation, the division of assets and debts, the custody and support of children, and the alimony or spousal support.
  2. Alimony: Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a payment that one spouse makes to the other after a divorce to help them maintain their standard of living or to compensate them for their contribution to the marriage. The amount and duration of alimony depend on several factors, such as the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, and the marital misconduct of either spouse. Alimony can be temporary, permanent, or rehabilitative, and it can be modified or terminated by the court or by the agreement of the parties5.
  3. Child support: Child support is a payment that one parent makes to the other to cover the expenses of raising their children after a divorce. The amount and frequency of child support depend on the state guidelines, the income and expenses of each parent, the number and needs of the children, and the custody and visitation arrangements. Child support can be enforced by the court or by the state agency, and it can be modified or terminated by the court or by the agreement of the parties.
  4. Tax implications: Divorce can have various tax consequences for the spouses, such as the filing status, the dependency exemptions, the alimony and child support payments, the property transfers, and the retirement accounts. The spouses should consult with a tax professional to understand how their divorce will affect their tax situation and to plan accordingly7.
  5. Emotional stress: Divorce can be a traumatic and stressful experience for the spouses and their children, as they have to cope with the loss of their marriage, the changes in their family structure, the adjustments in their lifestyle, and the uncertainty about their future. Divorce can also trigger feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, fear, anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which can affect their mental and physical health. The spouses and their children may benefit from seeking professional help, such as counseling, therapy, or support groups, to deal with their emotions and to heal from their divorce.

How to prevent or cope with divorce american style?

While divorce may be inevitable or necessary in some cases, there are also some ways to prevent or cope with divorce american style, such as:

  • Communication: One of the most common causes of divorce is the lack of communication between the spouses, which can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, resentment, and emotional distance. To prevent or resolve these issues, the spouses should communicate openly, honestly, respectfully, and frequently with each other, and listen to each other’s needs, feelings, and concerns. They should also avoid blaming, criticizing, or attacking each other, and instead focus on finding solutions and compromises that work for both of them9.
  • Counseling: Another way to prevent or cope with divorce is to seek professional help, such as marriage counseling, couples therapy, or mediation, to address the problems and challenges in the relationship. These services can help the spouses to improve their communication, to understand and respect each other’s perspectives, to rebuild their trust and intimacy, and to enhance their skills and strategies to deal with conflicts and stress. They can also help the spouses to decide whether to stay together or to separate, and to prepare for the transition and the aftermath of divorce.
  • Education: Another way to prevent or cope with divorce is to educate oneself about the legal, financial, and emotional aspects of divorce, and to plan ahead for the possible outcomes and consequences. The spouses should research the state laws, the types of divorce, and the rights and obligations of each party, and consult with a lawyer, a financial planner, a tax advisor, and other experts to protect their interests and to avoid surprises and mistakes. They should also learn about the effects of divorce on themselves and their children, and seek support and resources to cope with the changes and challenges11.

Final Word About Divorce American Style

Divorce american style is a term that refers to the high rate, the high cost, and the high conflict of divorce in the US, as well as to the social and cultural changes that have influenced the attitudes and behaviors of married couples. Divorce can have a significant impact on the lives of the spouses and their children, and it can pose various legal, financial, and emotional challenges and costs. However, there are also some ways to prevent or cope with divorce, such as communication, counseling, and education, which can help the spouses to make informed and respectful decisions, and to minimize the negative effects of divorce on themselves and their families.


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