Women Poorer, Men Lonelier after Divorce

by Peter Magee on May 20, 2013

Peter Magee

In an article called “Women poorer, men lonelier after divorce”, Rachel Wells compares how divorce affects men and women differently. The article published on 24 July 2012 in the Sydney Morning Herald states that “Women’s household incomes suffer more than men’s after divorce, but it takes men longer to recover emotionally, a study has found.”

The joint research, led by the Australian Institute of Family Studies show that divorce affects people financially which leads to many requiring greater Government support in later life.

The article states “that women’s income declined, whereas men’s do not, after divorce. In fact, men’s income was shown to increase after divorce”

While the research showed some women were able to return to their pre-divorce income after six years through re-partnering, increased labour force participation and Government benefits, this was not the case for divorced women with dependent children, who found it more difficult to combine paid work with family responsibilities.

The article goes on to state “The report – based on data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey – also showed that divorced men and women have fewer household assets than their married and never-married counterparts.”

The article touched on the fact that after divorce many stay at home mothers are forced to return to work after long absences from the workforce. Wells says “Heidelberg mother of two Isabella Mammoliti, who was forced to return to work after her divorce in 2007, says it is not just the immediate financial burden of being a single parent that causes her “distress”, but the long term financial impact.”

However whilst women are in general poorer after divorce, men reported “greater feelings of isolation and loneliness than women, even up to six years after divorce.”

After two years of divorce, 24% of men said they felt isolated compared with 12% of women. After six years, more men (19%) than women (12%) still reported feelings of isolation.

Unfortunately once a household is split in two there simply is less to go around financially.

In my experience, many clients (in particular stay at home mothers) are anxious about how they will be able to survive financially after divorce.

Firstly it is important to seek legal advice as to what your entitlements are in relation to the matrimonial assets. You may also consider seeking advice from a financial planner about how to best get back on your feet financially after a divorce.

Unfortunately as solicitors, neither we nor any other firm are able to assist you with feelings of loneliness, grief or anguish following divorce. We can however offer you peace of mind that we will advise and assist you each step of the way through resolution of parenting and property issues after separation. We do however strongly recommend that you seek assistance from a counsellor after the breakdown of your relationship.

If you would like advice in relation to a separation from your spouse or partner feel free to contact us at Armstrong legal on 9261 4555 for your initial obligation free appointment.

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