Women worse off after divorce than men

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The Independent Online

Divorce makes men richer and women poorer, according to a study contradicting the popular belief that both partners suffer financially.

Divorce makes men richer and women poorer, according to a study contradicting the popular belief that both partners suffer financially.

Researchers found that men's disposable income increases by an average of 15 per cent after divorce, while women see theirs fall by 28 per cent, mirroring the gain they experience on marrying.

The study, which tracked 10,000 people over a decade, concluded that the sharp difference in earnings between the sexes was one reason women found themselves so much worse off, financially, after divorce.

Dr Jonathan Scales, a research fellow at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which ran the British Household Panel Survey with the University of Essex, said: "Men bring more, economically speaking, to relationships and walk away with more too. This is the first time the effect of divorce on the same groupof people has ever been tracked over a long period."

Maryly La Follette, a partner at Charles Russell solicitors, said: "The odds of getting a fair divorce settlement are quite simply stacked against women." To get what she was owed, a women must return to court every two or three years to fight out a new settlement to take account of increasing child care and general costs.

About 141,000 divorces are granted in England and Wales every year, with 12,000 in Scotland. A Child Support Agency report found that 29 per cent of absent fathers paid nothing.

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