As a divorced single mum, it annoys me that there are ‘marital status’ boxes on forms. Some are simple – married/de facto or single. Others prod into other information which, quite frankly, is nobody’s business…. divorced, separated, widowed, single parent… really why does it matter?
I can understand for Census information it helps with statistics, but when you’re getting a loan, applying for a job, looking for a rental apartment, buying a car, going to a physiotherapist… why does it matter?
Does being divorced tell a bank that you can’t afford to pay the loan, or does it suggest to the bank that you maybe getting alimony even if you have a job? Does being widowed assume that you received a large life insurance settlement when your spouse died? Does being a single parent make the property manager see you as a potential risk to the property because there is a stigma out there that single parents have unruly kids? Does ‘separated’ tell the form reader that there is the possibility of huge legal fees, so they are a risk? It’s just so wrong, to generalise when every circumstance is different.
Everyone had a different ability to pay off a loan, pay their rent, apply for that amazing job… everyone get different levels of support from family, friends and neighbours with their children if they are married or not, so why should a marital status be important?
Would it matter if I ticked ‘single’ rather than ‘divorced?’ As I do fit under both umbrellas… If anyone can give me a valid reason why ‘marital status’ matters on ANY form, except gaining statistical information for the government, I think ‘single’ will be my status no matter what… after all ‘Sex and the Divorced Mum’ just doesn’t have the same vitality, does it? 😉