Women poorer, men lonelier after divorce – study

The Age (Australia) 24 July 2012
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, also highlights the significant impact divorce has on the financial assets of divorcees, which leads to many requiring greater government support in later life. The research – to be presented at the institute’s conference in Melbourne later this week – shows the household income after divorce declined for women, but not for men. In fact, while women’s household income dropped significantly, particularly in the first year after divorce, males’ income continued to rise. 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 study – which also looked at the emotional wellbeing of divorcees – revealed that men reported greater feelings of isolation and loneliness than women, even up to six years after divorce. After two years of divorce, 24 per cent of men said they felt isolated, compared with 12 per cent of women. After six years, more men (19 per cent) than women (12 per cent) still reported feelings of isolation. Meanwhile, 35 per cent of men reported feeling ”very lonely” two years after divorce, compared with 25 per cent of women and after six years, 26 per cent of men still reported loneliness compared with 20 per cent of women

Written by