Take Control Blog

Divorce Discrimination

As if we needed another form of discrimination, now, we have divorce discrimination. I take that back; this type of discrimination has been around for years.

A few weeks ago, I was planning an event for my company. I’ll spare the event details, but the invitees are all socially connected, upper middle class, divorced individuals. While looking for a venue, I came to understand that local developers are now staging events in their model units, free of charge. This is actually a smart marketing move, as it showcases the property to prospective buyers in a non-invasive manner.

So I reached out to one of those developers. The location was perfect for the event and the price was even better. Thinking that the event’s invitees were a perfect audience for the property, I figured the developer would jump all over the opportunity to host our high-profile event. I was dead wrong!

I was told, “divorced people are not the type of individuals that we are trying to attract.” No, I kid you not; this is what I the lady on the phone said. So, I took a deep breath and asked who they were looking to attract. The young lady proceeded to describe exactly what I was bringing to the event: socially connected, upper middle class, individuals.

Long-term marriages are ending at an astonishing rate of almost 75%. This means there are many divorced people–mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers–looking to downsize into the carefree condo life style. And many in the silver- divorce demographic are exiting divorce with plenty of disposable income.

But the young lady on the phone would not have any of it. She was not divorced and likely in her 20’s. Boy has she got a lot of learning to do, and so does that developer.

My point: divorce discrimination exists, no doubt. Thinking back, prior to my divorce, I also discriminated against divorced people. I saw them as failures, and I felt sorry for their poor kids. Although I never came out and said it, I did not want to associate with those divorced. I was happy, or so I thought, in my Coral Gables, white picket fence, married life bubble. Just like that young lady, I had a lot to learn.

Seven years removed from my failed marriage, I’m happily divorced. My two boys survived. I live in a condo, travel and love life. My post-divorce experiences are just as enriching as those I had during my married years, if not more. Today, I have countless divorced friends.

Divorce is not a disease; not a race; not even a status on a tax return. Divorced people are all around us: contributing to society, raising great kids, and meeting lovely new spouses.

Come to think of it, I have virtually no married friends. Could it be that married couples are still practicing divorce discrimination? Are you?