Divorce is never an easy process, but it can be harder for people from certain backgrounds. Indiana is home to many people who either immigrated from China or are the descendants of Chinese immigrants.
Historically, divorce has carried a significant stigma in China, but that has changed in recent decades. While divorce rates were once minuscule in China, they have increased to a level similar to what is seen in Western cultures since the 70s.
However, while more people have chosen to get divorced in China in recent years and the culture has shifted to accept changing family circumstances, there are still two noteworthy differences that can impact those with Chinese heritage who decide to divorce.
Divorce stigma is still a concern for Chinese women
While the consequences aren’t nearly as devastating as they were a generation ago, Chinese women will find that their social and professional opportunities may diminish after their divorce. This is particularly true for those who try to live and work in communities that are predominantly Chinese.
Other members of the community may still judge women who divorce far more harshly than their husbands, even if the woman left because of infidelity or spousal abuse. That stigma affects everything from the ability to remarry to the kinds of jobs women can secure.
While laws in the United States prohibit discrimination based on marital status, it can be hard to prove exactly what motivated an employment decision. Thankfully, these attitudes are slowly changing as female empowerment increases domestically and abroad.
Chinese couples with children are less likely to divorce
In the United States, when a couple has children, their risk of divorce increases. This is particularly true if the child has special needs or serious health issues. In China, statistics show that the opposite is true: Couples there who have children are less likely to divorce. The focus on the children is a strong traditional value in Chinese families that can push those in unhappy marriages to choose to stay together for the children.
Thankfully, as an Indiana resident, you don’t have to worry as much about the trends in China, but understanding cultural attitudes within your community can help you more easily navigate an upcoming divorce.