Is Divorce Harder on Men Than Women? #CP

Divorce is no picnic for either party, but are men affected more than women? In this article, we’ll explore the impact of divorce on men and women.

Every year, around 102,438 opposite sex marriages end in divorce, affecting not just the couple involved but friends, family and children too. A divorce is rarely painless for anybody concerned and can have a devastating impact on the welfare of the separating pair. 

Northern families can seek help from York legal advice when it comes to dealing with divorce to help navigate the process fairly and openly. This way, you can get the best clean break possible for the sake of everyone involved. 

Whilst there is a lot of help online to advise couples on how to deal with a breakup emotionally, we’ll take a look at certain areas that will more than likely be affected according to research, and how men and women may differ in these areas. Let’s delve into it…

The Financial Impact of Divorce

One of the major aspects of any divorce tends to be that of finances. The division of money and possessions, including property, can be stressful and time-consuming - more so if children are involved. 

Potential Impact for Men

Even in 2022, men tend to have the larger income in a couple or family. Figures from Royal London, show that 72.4% of men earn more than their female partners in the UK. For many men, this means that, following a divorce, they may be subject to paying spousal support and, in some cases, child support.

When combined with other expenses such as rent or mortgage, bills and day to day living, this can leave many men struggling to make ends meet. It has been suggested that men without children will actually be better off after a divorce, with figures showing that men’s income will generally rise by around 25%

Potential Impact on Women

Long gone are the days when a divorcing woman would automatically be entitled to spousal support or alimony. If there are children involved, the woman may receive child benefit of around £21.80 per week for the eldest child and £14.40 per week for subsequent children, which often doesn’t cover the true cost of having children full time. 

If the woman is working, she could also be expected to pay childcare costs, mortgage / rent and bills. This means that a woman with children will usually be much worse off financially after a divorce, unless there is spousal support. 

For a woman without children, however, the most significant change may be a slightly diminished lifestyle as they adjust to a single income. 

The Impact of Divorce for Those with Children

Impact on Fathers Seeing Less of Children

In 71% of UK cases, child custody is awarded to the mother. While visitation rights are usually awarded, for many fathers, this means going from living with their children to seeing them once or twice a week. 

This can be incredibly hard on a father who may worry about becoming distanced from his children. This can be extremely stressful, particularly in an acrimonious divorce when a partner may withhold visitation rights out of spite.

Impact On Mothers Becoming Primary Parent 

It’s a common view from many that children should remain with the mother as the primary care giver, this is often how it ends up after a divorce. Therefore, the mother may find themselves taking care of children full time often alongside working, which can be incredibly stressful to manage alone.   

The Impact on Mental Health After a Divorce

Potential Lack of Support for Men

Although it may seem like a generalisation, men are often conditioned to bottle up their feelings more than women do. This can often lead to depression and anxiety as the man attempts to manage the complex feelings that divorce can bring, alone. 

It’s important for men to reach out in these times, there are plenty of online forums specifically for men struggling with depression and anxiety. 

Loneliness in Women

In many cases, women tend to have a support network in the form of friends and will usually feel comfortable about discussing their emotions with these friends. This can mean that women are better able to manage their feelings and avoid any serious mental health issues. 

Typically, it would be completely normal to experience loneliness as a result of a tough break up, even with friends and family support.

The Impact of Rebound Behaviour After a Divorce

Men Tend to Move on Quicker

It has been suggested that, following a divorce, a lot of men will choose to get over the split by launching headfirst into a new relationship. This is often a result of attempting to bury feelings, as to not deal with them appropriately, or to seek a ‘replacement’ without taking important time to get over the previous relationships. 

Many people find it easier to mask feelings and situations with something new and exciting as a distraction. It’s easier said than done but allowing yourself to be upset and mourn a relationship with appropriate time, will mean you’re more likely to enter a healthier, more genuine relationship.  

While this may provide some short-term comfort, it can cause problems further down the line as his new partner struggles to cope with the baggage that he has brought into the relationship. 

Women Tend to be Process Feelings Sooner 

Statistically, women tend to wait a little longer before beginning a new relationship, and will be more mindful of giving themselves time to heal. This will usually mean that, when they are ready to start dating again, a new relationship will have more chance of success. 

Men and Women Both Have Their Own Divorce Struggles

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, divorce is no fun for either party. In fact, it is cited as the second most stressful life event that a person can experience. 

When it comes to determining which of the sexes is hit hardest by divorce and separation, this is very much an individual matter. However, research suggests that men experience a unique set of problems. 

These issues include mental health problems caused by bottling up their emotions and a loss of identity as the man transitions from being a husband to a single man. For anybody facing divorce, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you reach out to friends and family for support. 

You should also hire the services of a great family law solicitor who will help you to navigate the complexities of your divorce while keeping things as amicable as possible, something which is essential if children are involved. 

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Karl Young

Part-time daddy and lifestyle blogger. Father of 2 boys under 2. Golfer, scare-fan, tea-lover, traveller, squash and poker player. I write on the @HuffPostUK

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