For many years now, researchers have identified a concrete connection between money and divorce. Simply put, many divorces are caused by money issues. Couples often argue about money, and these arguments can easily spiral out of control. In an era of rising living costs, mortgage rates, and economic uncertainty, money issues are more prevalent than ever before in the typical American marriage. But what do the statistics say about this subject, and what kind of conclusions can we make about the age-old connection between money and divorce?
The Average Cost of a Divorce
According to Forbes, the average cost of a divorce is about $15,000 – although it can reach upwards of $100,000 for complicated, litigated divorces. The problem is that divorce is becoming increasingly unaffordable for the typical American household. Food, rent, and gas prices aren’t the only things increasing in the modern economy. Lawyers are also being forced to raise their fees to adjust to the higher standard of living, which means that divorce is moving further away from the typical family’s reach. It might sound crazy, but some spouses cannot even afford to get divorced – forcing them to remain in broken relationships.
Women Suffer More Financially After a Divorce
Forbes also pointed out that women suffer a much more significant drop in their standard of living after divorce – a direct reflection of their decreased financial wealth. One study showed that their standard of living can drop by almost 50%, while a man’s standard of living typically only drops about 20%. Another study found that 75% of all women who apply for welfare benefits do so specifically because of a disrupted marriage.
44% of women fall into poverty after a divorce. Mothers who remain married are almost three times more likely to avoid poverty than those who choose divorce. This suggests that child support and alimony may help a divorced woman, but they certainly can’t prevent them from suffering from tremendous economic hardships.
Declines in Family Wealth
Marripedia points out that at least one million children have experienced a reduction in family income by up to 42% after divorce. It’s interesting to note that if the national economy had contracted by that same percentage, it would be worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. The truth is that when many families get divorced, it is just like going through an economic depression – especially for the children involved.
Divorce and Female Income
One of the most interesting divorce statistics comes from a Canadian study. In this study, it was determined that when a woman’s income begins to approach that of her husband’s, the chance of a divorce increases dramatically. When a woman’s income surpasses that of her husband, the chances of a divorce increase even further. It is difficult to say why this might be the case. Perhaps it is due to the husband feeling threatened by his wife’s income, or maybe the wife feels as though she can no longer be attracted to someone who makes less than them.