real life

Divorced men are richer but sadder than divorced women.

Divorce by jcoterhals

RELAX. It's photoshopped. No real fingers were harmed in the making of this photo.

If you're married, divorced or thinking about being either, you might want to read this. According to Fairfax reports…..

Four years after a marriage break-up divorced men are significantly better off than divorced women – and better off than before the separation….

But the men are much more likely than the women to cry poor, a study has found. Women suffer a considerable financial penalty for years after they divorce and, on objective measures, such as ability to pay bills on time, almost half would be considered struggling….

Yet many divorced women say they are no worse off than before the break-up, or are even a bit better off, possibly because they can now have more control over the finances, the study shows.

The research, by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, says that over the five years of economic prosperity to 2007 the incomes of divorced fathers with children under 18 rose 24 per cent, adjusted for family size, while divorced mothers' income rose on average only 1.8 per cent. The divorced men's income rose even faster than that of fathers who stayed married.

The research found divorced men's income rose even faster than the fathers who stayed married.

The divorced men's average incomes were $33,356 after they had paid child support, while the mothers' incomes averaged $26,512 after they had received child support. Yet while the fathers reported feeling more prosperous than when married, 9.7 per cent regarded themselves as poor or very poor four years after the divorce, compared with 4 per cent of the mothers.

Matthew Gray, the institute's deputy director, and lead author of the study, said the men's perceptions in part might reflect the overall quality of their life after divorce. "They might have more money but many used to have someone doing the cooking and cleaning and organising the social life, and some are alienated and angry because they don't live with their children. And a lot of men really don't want to pay child support."

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Have you had any experience with your income or lifestyle being affected by divorce or by a relationship break up? Do you think women are ultimately better at being alone than men?

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