One could obviously joke that breasts are associated with one-hundred percent of divorces initiated by the straight male — but how many divorces are the byproduct of a person’s lack of satisfaction with the physical features of a lover? The answer might surprise you. We’ll explore the realities of physical augmentation (you know which ones) and all the strange legal quandaries that develop as a result.
First and foremost: Are you more likely to get a divorce when you or a spouse decide to get breast implants? It’s a valid question due to skyrocketing rates of breast augmentation. There are about 50 percent more procedures performed today than there were in the year 2000.
Luckily for most married couples, breast size doesn’t seem to connect or correlate to divorce incidence. Googling the topic will likely result in a number of anecdotes but few hard facts. Here’s what we can say for sure: Many women who receive breast augmentation experience renewed self-confidence (others do not), and that could absolutely carry over into the bedroom. “Happy wife, happy life,” or so they say.
And of course we can make all kind of non-factual assessments based on (perhaps) unrelated facts. For one, studies seem to show that certain men’s “oppressive beliefs predict their breast size preferences in women.” But still, no obvious difference in divorce before or after surgery. Oh well. Back to the drawing board.
Here’s another crazy question for you (and yes, divorcing couples actually ask): Are implants considered marital property? Wow. That one’s a doozy. First, what is marital property? Basically, marital property is that which must be divided equitably when a marriage dissolves. The idea comes down to a fair 50/50 split of most assets. And because the laws are inherently abstract (Solomon might be able to cut a baby in two, but we can’t), there are a lot of absurd claims.
Isaacson v. Isaacson (yes, this actually went to court) was the story of a husband who said his wife’s implants were marital assets. When Mr. Isaacson eventually lost the case to his wife, the North Dakota Supreme Court failed to overturn the appeal. In other words, the precedent was set that a woman’s breasts, augmented or not, belong to her. Except that similar decisions in other states have gone the opposite way, forcing the augmented woman to pay her husband his fair share (in cash).
The same argument has been used to argue that all sorts of things are marital assets, right down to the fillings in a person’s teeth.
While a divorce lawyer in any state will tell you that while couples do not experience a greater incidence of divorce when a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, it does happen sometimes. In fact, many couples are more likely to agree to couples counseling when a crazy catalyst like cancer changes the overall outlook or introduces friction into a relationship.
So there you have it. Breasts are sometimes a subject of debate during a divorce, but they don’t seem to be associated with getting a divorce. Truth be told, we expected to find the opposite to hold true. Oh well.