Society tells women that motherhood should be their primary source of fulfillment. This same pressure, however, is not put on men. Society pressures moms to live out this kid-focused lifestyle, deeming them lousy or lazy if they do not. Meanwhile, dads are simply let off the hook.
In the same vein, women are advised to fight for full legal custody in divorce court, abiding by society’s expectations of what they should do. Emma Johnson, the blogger behind Wealthy Single Mommy, is here to fight that stigma and advocate for shared parenting.
On this episode of Divorce, Healthy!, Emma discusses her research about how time-sharing between separated parents impacts single mothers’ income.
“Moms with 50/50 schedules are 300 times more likely to earn $100,000 a year — 300 times more likely to earn six figures than moms with 100% time with their kids,” Emma says.
The results of her research upend previous notions of feminism, debunking the idea that moms having sole, full legal custody of children is the best outcome. Not only is it beneficial for women to have 50/50 custody, it is also in the best interests of children, making them feel more at ease, loved, and less anxious.
As Emma says, “It signals to them that: my parents are equal, they both are equally committed, they equally love me, and they’re here.”
Tune in to this episode of Divorce! Healthy with Ashley-Nicole Russell, Collaborative Divorce Attorney serving Beaufort, Raleigh, and Greenville, NC.
Name: Emma Johnson
What she does: Emma is the blogger behind Wealthy Single Mommy, a site dedicated to helping millions of women build full, successful lives as single moms. As a best-selling author, journalist, and expert on single-parent topics, Emma has created an online community for single moms across the globe.
Noteworthy: In February, Emma launched a White Paper based on the findings of the Single Mom Income and Time-Sharing Survey, which polled 2,270 single mothers about their employment, income, time-sharing, and related feelings.
Top takeaways from this Divorce, Healthy! episode
★ Don’t be afraid of 50/50 custody. Women are oftentimes pressured to fight for full legal custody of their children when filing for divorce. However, split custody agreements can lead to more favorable outcomes by giving women more time to devote to their careers, relationships, and own happiness.
★ There’s a real need for systemic cultural changes. Society tells women that motherhood is their ultimate source of fulfillment. This needs to change, and it can begin with women putting themselves first and not feeling guilty about shared legal custody.
★ Sharing legal custody benefits your kids’ mental health. It’s not only about improving single moms’ lifestyles — 50/50 custody agreements also benefit children. For a kid, seeing both parents equally committed to them establishes a sense of reassurance and reduces anxiety.
[04:31] Equitable time-sharing benefits single moms’ income: According to Emma’s research, moms with 50/50 custody schedules are 300X more likely to earn a salary of $100,000 than moms with full legal custody of their kids.
[10:49] Society reinforces a double standard: Our culture shames women who do not spend a certain amount of time with their kids. They’re deemed lousy moms and lousy people — but these same pressures aren’t placed on men.
[13:45] Custody split = empowerment for men: Splitting custody equally helps dads to maintain stronger, healthier relationships with their children. They rise to the occasion and take more active parenting roles.
[13:59] Give kids more security: Sharing custody equally also provides children with a greater sense of security. They see their parents as two equals who love them — equal responsibility holders, equal decision-makers, and equal participants in their life.
[19:36] Look at the long game: Women who fight for sole or primary legal custody lose money-making opportunities and tend to become reliant on child support or alimony bills. Good attorneys will encourage their clients to look at the big picture. That is, look beyond that limited, monthly payout to realize shared custody agreements will open more doors for earning income.
[27:51] A mainstream feminist issue: The more equality women have in terms of child custody, the more time they have to invest in their careers.
⭐ To inquire about speaking engagements, purchase your copy of Ashley-Nicole’s book “The Cure for Divorce Culture,” or to schedule your private orientation meeting, head to www.anrlaw.com.
⭐ You can also find us on social media @ANRLaw.
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⭐ Divorce Lawyer Ashley-Nicole Russell has law offices serving clients in Greenville, Raleigh, and Beaufort, North Carolina.