Divorce can affect each member of the family in different ways. In some situations, this impact depends on the personality of each individual and the unique circumstances that surround the divorce. What if we examine only the financial consequences of divorce? What do the statistics say about how divorce affects husbands, wives, and their children? The answers might surprise you, and this could be useful information for both attorneys and their clients. When you learn what tends to happen to certain family members after divorce, you can prepare accordingly and adjust your financial strategies.
How Does Divorce Affect the Financial Well-Being of Men?
According to various studies, the financial impact of a divorce is typically less severe for men compared to women. One report from the US Government Accountability Office found that men’s household income fell by just 23% after divorcing past the age of 50. Although this might seem like a relatively large number, the truth is that women suffer much more on average.
Other studies have come to even more interesting conclusions. According to a recent article, men actually become richer after getting divorced. One study published by the Institute for Social and Economic Research found that men “rise immediately and continuously” as the years go by after their divorce. They may suffer a dent to their wealth at the beginning, but as time goes by, they actually seem to benefit from no longer having a spouse.
This study also found that when a father leaves a childless marriage, his income immediately increases by 25%. Separated women are three times more likely to fall into poverty compared to separated men. However, it is worth pointing out that this information is based on UK data.
How Does Divorce Affect the Financial Well-Being of Women?
The same study published by the US Accountability Office found that women’s household income fell by 41% after separating past the age of 50. It is also important to remember that women tend to live about five years longer than men, which means that this lowered income is even less when stretched over more years. As a result, women are more likely than ever before to work after divorce.
In previous years, the percentage of women who worked for a living after a divorce was quite small. There are a number of possible explanations for the financial hardships experienced by women after divorce. Some suggest that many women might be overly dependent on their spouses for financial support prior to the divorce. Others state that men are more likely to be financially savvy, making it easier for them to conceal assets and walk away with their fortunes mostly intact.
What About the Children?
Research also shows that divorce can have a lasting financial impact on children. Some studies have even suggested that a child’s ability to earn is significantly reduced after experiencing a divorce, with an average wealth decrease of 46%. Some believe that this may be due to the fact that divorce can cause a disruption in education. This subject is still not very well understood, and more research is necessary.