The New York
Times recently published an article about the growing gap between the “haves
and the have nots”. It talked about two women, Jessica, and her boss Chris,
who have so much in common that a visitor to the day care center they run
might get them confused.
They are both
friendly white women from modest Midwestern backgrounds who left for college
with conventional hopes of marriage, motherhood and career. They both have
children in elementary school. They pass their days in similar ways:
juggling toddlers, coaching teachers and swapping small secrets that mark
them as friends. They even got tattoos together. And although, Chris, as the
boss, earns more money, the difference is a gap, not a huge chasm.
comparison that evokes parity by day becomes a study of inequality at night
and a testament to the way family structure deepens class divides. Chris is
married and living on two paychecks, while Jessica is divorced and raising
her children by herself. That gives Chris’s family a profound advantage in
income and nurturing time, and makes their children statistically more
likely to finish college, find good jobs and form stable marriages.
Chris goes home
to a neatly trimmed subdivision and packs weekends with children’s events.
Jessica’s rent consumes more than half her income, she can’t afford the
swimming and karate and baseball and Boy Scouts that Chris's kids enjoy and
she scrapes by on food stamps.
That “gap” is
every age level between the ages of twenty-five and sixty-five, married
individuals were more likely to have experienced at least one year of
affluence – that is, a year in which the family’s income was ten times the
official poverty threshold – than unmarried peers, and this advantage
increased as individuals aged. By age 45, 33 percent of married individuals
versus 16 percent of their peers who were not married had experienced at
least a year of affluence. That is, “marriage in early adulthood double[d]
the odds of affluence.” Among individuals between ages 45 and 65, the odds
were even higher; some 42 percent of married individuals will have
experienced at least a year of affluence compared to 18 percent of their
peers who were not married."
The paragraph above is an excerpt from
"Does Marriage Increase the Odds of Affluence? Exploring the Life Course
Probabilities" based on data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics
(PSID), a (US) nationally representative sample, with twenty-five years of
longitudinal data. The analytical sample for this particular analysis
consisted of 2,213 individuals between the ages of 25 and 65.
Study after study shows us that married people live longer, healthier,
wealthier lives and in general, are much better off than single or divorced
persons. Children of two parent families do better in school, are more
likely to go to college and are less likely to abuse drugs and/or alcohol,
join gangs or commit criminal acts. Married people are shown to be better
credit and insurance risks and more likely to contribute to charitable or
And despite all this, no company in the world has ever stepped up to provide
this group of people with an opportunity to enhance their financial security
by investing solely in themselves and their marriage.
By stark contrast, people who suffer the consequences of divorce are often
forced to lead very different lives than they had envisioned when they made
the choice to divorce. Although divorce rates in the US haven’t changed much
in 40 years, back then the typical household had only one parent that
worked, they weren’t strapped with more house than they could afford, they
had some savings in the bank and they had little, if any, credit card debt.
If their marriage failed, there was an opportunity for the non-working
spouse to create additional income in addition to any support they received.
Today that landscape is drastically different. The typical household today
has $12,000 or more in credit card debt, a much higher percentage of their
overall income goes to their mortgage and both parents are working full
time. If they split now, there’s little opportunity to find additional
income to offset the costs of setting up an entirely new household. Add the
average cost of $15,000 to $30,000 in legal fees for divorce in the US and
that’s a recipe for financial disaster.
According to a number of studies, divorce is the number one common
contributing factor for bankruptcy and poverty among single mothers
worldwide. Nearly half of American families experience some period of
poverty following a divorce and more than 20% of women who apply for welfare
benefits for the first time do so because of divorce or separation. In
addition about one in four mothers who were first propelled onto welfare by
divorce are still welfare-dependent five years later. Divorced
fathers with child custody often fall into the same category.
Here are some of the key points from Patrick Fagan and Robert Rector's
"The Effects of Divorce in America" from the Heritage Foundation:
Divorce creates harmful effects on children and society. Divorce causes
devastating physical, financial, and emotional harm to children. It also
decreases religious worship. Crime, child abuse, and addiction are all
affected negatively by divorce rates.
Because divorced mothers are more likely to work full-time, their
teenaged children are more likely to have premarital sex and multiple
sexual partners, when they become adults.
“The marital instability of one generation is passed on to the next”.
Some studies have found the risk of divorce among children of divorced
families to be more than twice as high as children of intact families.
Almost half (44%) of parents going through a divorce become poor after
the divorce, meaning that their Adjusted Gross Income puts them below
the poverty line.
Divorce not only decreases household income, it translates into
diminished academic achievement among children which, in turn, leads to
lower earnings as an adult.
According to calculations based on the Survey of Consumer Finance, 32.4
percent of divorced/separated single-parents live in poverty vs. 7.7
percent of families in their first marriage.
in the December 2005 issue of the Australian Journal of Sociology, Jay
Zagorsky’s study titled
Divorce’s Impact on Wealth” makes the point clear. Zagorsky, an Ohio
State University sociologist followed US baby boomers from youth to their
40s through the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Zagorsky found that
on average, by their mid-40s, married individuals will have nearly double
the wealth per person that singles will, but the divorced are far worse off,
losing an average of 77% of their net worth.
For more information on these and other studies and academic papers
that we use as source documents
People in other countries fare even worse. The average cost of divorce in
England is approximately half of the average total annual household income
and more than one third of couples have to sell their homes just to finance
the divorce proceedings.
WedLock Divorce Insurancesm was
the first insurance product developed by SafeGuard Guaranty. Introduced in
2010 and originally underwritten by a Utah Surplus Lines insurance company,
only provided insurance coverage in the event of divorce due to
restrictions by the underwriter. However, WedLocksm is
no longer available to the public. While providing simply divorce protection
would certainly keep people from falling below the poverty line, and we’ll
continue to offer that financial safety net, we think the biggest reward go
to those that have the good fortune to stay married. Our new product,
Marriage Assurancesm was
developed with that in mind.
Multiple independent market acceptance studies
a documented high demand for this type of “win-win” coverage and we'll be
happy to share those results with interested parties. Here are a couple examples done by well known media providers,
CBC News and
polls are at the bottom of the articles). And be sure to see how others
voted on a recent poll here on the website.
Click here to see those results.
Moreover, regardless of the source, focusing funds on reducing divorce will
save significant tax dollars in the long run and have a positive impact on
our economy because it will reduce the need to subsidize and sustain many
single-parent families. Today, according to a study jointly presented in
2008 by the Institute for American Values, the Institute for Marriage and
Public Policy, the Georgia Family Council and Families Northwest, divorce in
the United States costs taxpayers at
billion dollars each and every year in direct and indirect costs.
And inasmuch as divorce and out-of-wedlock births are known to be major
routes into poverty, it should stand to reason that our governing bodies
already understand that encouraging, preparing for and maintaining marriage
is sound public policy. And considering unwed mothers account for 41 percent
of all births, that should be a red flag to our elected officials that
something is already amiss.
We'll lobby the federal government to make our Marriage Benefit a tax exempt
financial event; establish pro-marriage projects; establish a national goal
to reduce divorce by a reasonable figure over the next two decades; create
public service campaigns informing the public at large of the long-term
benefits of marriage and the risks associated with divorce; and give an
ongoing tax credit to any couple who stays married at least until their
youngest child reaches 18.
And in turn we'll push for the individual states to establish their own
goals to reduce divorce rates by establishing pro-marriage education and
mentoring programs; require that couples with children under 18 years of age
complete some form of divorce education (i.e., end “quickie” divorces for
couples with young children); and promote community-wide marriage programs.
Our governing fathers around the world are well aware that marriage, as a
cornerstone of civilized society around the world is eroding, and perhaps,
with your help, we can reverse that trend, together.
If you are interested in learning more about this ground breaking company,
please contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.