A Judge has recently ruled in the case of Tracey Wright that she should go out and get herself a job rather than rely on her ex-husband to provide maintenance for her to live on. This has caused huge ripples as there is now expected to be a huge rush to the courts to renegotiate divorce settlements. Spouses can no longer rely on full financial support from their ex partners once their children reach age seven.
I think this has to be looked at from different angles as there are clearly two sides to this argument. It is worth bearing in mind as well that it also works both ways as it has become more common for husband to stay at home and the wife to be the bread winner.
Side 1: The married couple made a decision together that one of them would go out to work and the other would raise the children. Obviously there was never any intention to get divorced at this early stage of family life so it seemed like a sound decision in the best interests of the whole family.
In this instance let's assume it is the wife who decides to give up her career and look after the kids whilst the husband continues his career. The support at home enables him to grow and develop his career whilst his home life is being taken care of. So his earning potential increases over the years as does his skill set and potential value in the market place.
If further down the line they find themselves getting divorced and their youngest child is over seven years of age then the wife may well now be told to get herself a job as she cannot rely on the financial support of her husband. In this case the woman is at a huge disadvantage to create or maintain her lifestyle with her own career should she have to rely on her own earnings alone. She has been out of the work place for a minimum of seven years and her skill set will need updating. She will also be competing for jobs with others who have not taken a long break from the workplace.
Even at seven years old a child would ideally have his mother around for bedtime and homework. So finding a job that can fit around children, childcare and skill set is not easy.
It is an even more bitter sweet pill to swallow if the husband ended the marriage and the wife had no choice.
Side 2: When a marriage ends and the couple decide to go their separate ways then why should the main bread winner be saddled with the financial responsibility of their ex? Isn't it only fair that they step up and contribute to their lifestyle if they are getting a divorce? After all they are going their separate ways.
Of course there are many who would hate to take a penny from their ex. As one of my Facebook followers wrote on my page recently: "I would rather eat glass than be dependent on my ex for anything"
Realistically most couples have no choice but for both parties to go out and earn a living as there is not enough money to make it viable for one of them to stay at home with the kids. For them there is no option but to work.
There are also many who do not give up their job when they have the kids. If they never sacrificed their place in the workplace or their personal financial independence then they may well think it is time for women to "stop milking their men" as Sarah Vine wrote in the Daily Mail this week.
How to use this to your benefit:In my opinion after a divorce it is a helpful part of the healing and moving on process to start earning your own money. It helps you to identify who you are again and can work wonders for your confidence and self-esteem. It can also help you to meet new people and create a whole new future for yourself that you never dreamed of.
The job doesn't need to be scary or difficult - it could be something that fits around your children and that you really enjoy. You can always start small and work up to longer hours or something more challenging.
So whether it is court ordered or not - getting a job is a great idea to help you rebuild your life and find happiness again.