The bias against men in divorce and family law causes direct damage in some relationships. I’ve known dozens of men who choose to tolerate awful treatment from their wives because their only alternative is a divorce that promises financial ruin and part-time fatherhood. There is a reduced incentive for a woman of immature or low character to monitor her behavior if she stands to profit from divorce. It’s like having a job in which she will win the lottery if she gets fired. The courts have established a moral hazard for which men pay the price....This may be true. But it occurs to me there is another set of unexpected consequences that stem from unequitable divorce laws, and they are considerably more significant than immature behavior on the part of some married women. The rise of "silver divorce" has been in the news of late, as "the number of over-60s divorcing has increased by over a third in 10 years."
If the burden of divorce were more equitably shared, these men would have standing to push for changes in behavior, and the women in their lives would have an incentive to raise their maturity level, improve their communication, and beef up their coping skills. Not so ironically, the possibility of a painful divorce can lead to better behavior, which leads to healthier relationships. But as it stands, men who choose their wives poorly might pay the price for decades (along with any children who are involved) because the courts not only allow for bad behavior from abusive women, they indirectly encourage it.
I haven't read any statistics on whether it is disproportionately women leaving men or the other way around, but based on the fact that it is described as people waiting until the children have grown before ending the marriage, I strongly suspect that it is men who are filing more of them. First, because women tend to be more impatient than men, second because child support creates a financial incentive for women and a disincentive for men to file for divorce when children are still in the picture, and third because every individual who has ever told me that they intend to wait until the youngest child is 18 before filing for divorce has been male.
It would be interesting to see if the 4/1 female to male divorce ratio holds up in silver divorces, as the lower the ratio, the stronger the indication that more men are simply biding their time until they can safely exit the marriage on more equitable terms.
Nor is that the only potential consequence, as it occurs to me that men who are biding their time would be well-served by refusing to work hard or to build household wealth, since they already know that they are going to lose at least half of whatever wealth they manage to accumulate. So, divorce may not only have significant negative effects on children, but on the economy as well as it creates significant disincentives for the single most productive class, the married male with children, to produce anything.