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BW/HARRIS POLL: HE SAID, SHE SAID

Note: This online-only feature is a complete version of the

poll that appears in the August 3, 1998, issue of Business Week.





THERE'S A PROBLEM

Is divorce in America is a very serious problem, a somewhat

serious problem, or not a serious problem at all?



Very serious problem            47%

Somewhat serious problem        41%

Not a serious problem at all    11%

Don't know                       1%



LAWS NEED FIXING

Do you believe that current divorce laws make it too hard 

to get a divorce, make it too easy to get a divorce, or are

appropriate as is?  

Make it too hard to get a divorce     10%

Make it too easy to get a divorce     50%

Are appropriate as is                 33%

Don't know                             7%



WHO WINS?

In general, do you believe property settlements in divorce

tend to favor the husband, tend to favor the wife, or favor

both parties about equally?        

                              MEN   WOMEN

The husband                    6%    25%

The wife                      74%    30%

Both parties about equally    13%    21%

Don't know                     7%    24%



POWER TO THE JUDGE

In some states, the law requires that marital property be

divided evenly. In other states, judges are given discretion

to divide property based on what they consider an equitable

basis. Do you believe that:

                                    MEN  WOMEN

The law should mandate an equal     31%   29%

    distribution in all cases

Judges should be given discretion   66%   70%

    to decide, depending on the

    circumstances of the case

Don't know                           3%    2%



CARVING UP THE PIE

In general, how should property be divided in a divorce

when one spouse has generated most of the family's wealth?

                                    MEN   WOMEN

Should be divided equally           41%   62%

The spouse who generated most       50%   28%

  of the wealth should receive

  a larger share

Don't know                           9%   10%



SPLITTING THE BIG ONES

How should property be divided if the estate concerned is

worth over $10 million?

                                     MEN   WOMEN

Should be divided equally,           34%   49% 

  regardless of how large it is

The spouse who generated most of     61%   45%

  the wealth should receive a larger

  share, as long as his/her spouse has

  enough to maintain his/her lifestyle

Don't know                            5%    6%



WHO SHOULD GET WHAT

How should each of each of the following assets be divided

in a divorce? Should they be split evenly, or should a 

larger share  go to the spouse who earned them directly?      

              SPLIT         SPLIT               DON'T

              EVENLY        BY EARNINGS         KNOW

            MEN   WOMEN    MEN   WOMEN        MEN   WOMEN

Company stock or stock options

            40%    55%      53%   39%          7%     6%

Company pension

             34%   44%      61%   48%          5%     8%

Ownership of a private company

             38%   52%      57%   41%          5%     7%



WAR OF THE WENDTS

Recently, a high-profile divorce case involving Gary Wendt,

chief executive of GE Capital, and his wife, Lorna, was tried.

Lorna Wendt argued that she was entitled to half the estate,

even though she didn't work for pay. Gary Wendt said he was

entitled to more than half, as long as Lorna received enough

to maintain her lifestyle. Do you tend to:

                           MEN   WOMEN

Agree with Lorna Wendt     34%    52%

Agree with Gary Wendt      62%    43%

Don't know                  4%     5%

  

PREVALENCE OF PRENUPS

If you are married, did you sign a prenuptial agreement before

you were married, or not? 



Signed a prenuptial agreement            3%

Did not sign a prenuptial agreement     96%

Refused to answer                        1%



HOW THE ESTATE WAS DIVIDED

If you have been divorced, how would you describe the property

settlement in your divorce?

                                    MEN   WOMEN

The estate was divided equally      37%    52%

I received substantially more of    14%     8%

  the estate than my spouse

My spouse received substantially    46%    36%

  more of the estate

Refused to answer                    3%     4%



A MATTER OF FAIRNESS

Which of the following best characterizes the way you feel 

about the property settlement in your divorce?

                                    MEN   WOMEN

It was basically fair               56%    54%

I received too much                  0%     1%

My spouse received too much         43%    41%

Don't know                           1%     4%



Online survey of 1,666 adults with households income $100,000

or higher conducted May 1-3, 1998 for Business Week by Louis

Harris & Associates Inc. To participate in this and future

online polls, go to http://206.1.46.26/bwdiv.htm

Edited by Keith H. Hammonds



RELATED ITEMS

COVER IMAGE: Divorce, Executive Style

TABLE: Whose Business Is It?

SALTING IT AWAY IN MARGARITAVILLE

HE SAID, SHE SAID (extended)

ONLINE ORIGINAL: DIVORCE FOR THE REST OF US: A FINANCIAL HOW-TO


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Updated July 23, 1998 by bwwebmaster
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