The Hard Truth: What Divorce Does to Your Finances

Divorce is expensive. On top of the legal fees that you pay divorce lawyers to ensure everything goes smoothly, you can expect to acquire debt when you separate. You must rely on your income once you are legally separated from your spouse, which may not be a problem if you have been the sole provider in your relationship.

However, many factors can complicate your finances during a divorce. Any payments associated with your assets and child support, if children are involved, are only some factors that affect your finances in a divorce. Even if you can settle your separation peacefully, expect your divorce to cost you a great deal. Here are some ways that divorce financially affects you, your children, and your community.

Divorce Financial Burdens in Spouses

Divorce financially affects women and men differently. Women tend to suffer heavier financial burdens than men. In a 2019 study researchers observed that many women, especially mothers, fall into poverty after a divorce. This fact owes to the substantial decreases in household income, per capita income, and income-to-needs ratios that women experience following a divorce.

Meanwhile, men may experience a drop in their standard way of living depending on how much they contributed to their family. Men providing more than 80% of a family’s income before a divorce may not suffer as much as men providing less than that same amount. Fathers with child custody would have even more expenses. However, depending on where a father lives, the state may garnish their income after the divorce. Meaning, the state takes the child support money from his paycheck.

Divorce Financial Burdens in Children

Children can suffer financially when their parents get divorced. Financial burdens children might face involve insurance coverage loss. Since parents handle their children’s medical insurance, separation would complicate the coverage. So, children risk facing medical expenses that insurance cannot cover.

Couples going through a divorce may also burden their children by spending less time with them. Suppose a child stays with a parent who used to stay at home mostly. That parent would have to work full-time to make up for lost income because of the divorce. Similarly, parents with part-time jobs may take on multiple jobs and spend even less time with their children.

Most financial burdens that children face result from their parents’ financial struggles. With strained finances between the family, children may lose extracurricular opportunities. Without the combined income of both parents, their children may miss out on sports, music lessons, or summer camps.

Relatedly, parents with limited income may be unable to afford daycare services for their young children. This situation may contribute to a parent’s fall into poverty because of their limited income.

Meanwhile, divorced homes may risk affecting a child’s emotional well-being. Emotional issues may reflect in a child’s academic performance, making them less likely to proceed to higher education. Their family’s overall financial situation may even discourage them from pursuing college.

Divorce Financial Burdens in Communities

Divorce affects society just as much as it affects you and your children. Poverty rates would increase because of the financial difficulties that divorce brings to families. Families in a state of poverty would rely on government programs and services to support their finances. U.S. taxpayers pay at least $112 billion annually to support divorce and unwanted childbearing cases.

Literacy rates may also get affected when children from divorced homes fail to pursue higher education. These poor literacy rates would produce unproductive citizens who may not contribute a lot to society. Similarly, people from divorced homes who have developed emotional problems may turn to a life of crime, threatening society.


Divorce financially affects everyone involved in the situation, from the spouses, children, and even society. If you are a woman and a mother, research shows that you are likely to fall into poverty after a divorce. However, you may still suffer financial burdens from the government as a man during a divorce.

These financial troubles affect children involved in a divorced family. Poverty will limit a child’s opportunities and they could develop emotional problems. Troubled children may then contribute to society’s crime rates.

Financial burdens that divorce brings require strict adjustments to your finances. Consider subscribing to a personal finance platform like Wealtheo+ to help you manage your finances before, during, and after a divorce. Learn more about how we can help you.

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