Divorce is second only to death of a spouse when it comes to most stressful life events, according to the Pain Doctor. Rounding out the top ten are marital separation, imprisonment, death of a close family member, personal injury or illness, marriage, being fired, marital reconciliation and retirement.
While the emotional pain is obvious and expected, more of a shock with each of these stressful life events is the monetary impact.
For example, did you know it takes an average of five years for someone to recover financially from divorce? That’s a double hit of stress from the collapse of your relationship and your personal finances.
Suddenly it’s place at number two on the pain-o-metre is starting to make sense.
When you knew it was time for a divorce. Article continues…
But why so long? If you’ve been together for quite some time you’ve obviously built up some wealth with assets and savings, right? Surely you just split it down the middle and you’re on your way?
It’s not that simple.
The most common length of a marriage, according to family lawyers McKinley Irvin, is eight years. Just over half of divorcing couples split after having kids and getting a mortgage, not to mention other so-called “good debt” scenarios such as investments.
The For Richer, For Poorer: Divorce in Australia report released late last year commissioned by NATSEM and AMP measured the average financial recovery period at five years.
Also it goes without saying that the messier the divorce, the worse the financial situation will be. Money and emotions don’t mix, particularly when it comes to the pain of divorce.
According to the report financial effects of divorce hit divorced women particularly hard when it comes to:
Quality of life
Educational outcomes for children