Pew report on the economics of divorce

Women exiting a marriage are doing better financially than in previous years, according to a report recently released by a national research firm. In an era that — to some — might not seem that long ago, women had collectively few job skills or higher education and consequently were left to take low-paying jobs after a divorce, along with the stigma of divorce that society placed upon them. Raising children, many times with no child support, further depleted any resources they had.

That is far less the case these days. According to Pew, a Washington, D.C., research firm that works to keep a pulse on changing trends of society, many more women are now choosing challenging and lucrative careers, with the income gap between men and women being narrowed.

Added to that, more women are educated and financially secure during and after a marriage. Many times, following a divorce, men are ordered by the courts to pay child support or alimony, which helps an ex-wife continue to go to school or build a career.

With women less dependent on men to be the sole breadwinner in a relationship, they are seeking goals and careers that make them happy. However, the same can’t be said about men overall. Many of them are seeing incomes reduced because of added financial responsibilities. In a tough economy, the loss of a job typically held by a man could be financially devastating, after already losing the wife’s income and paying alimony or child support.

The report states that, despite positive news for many women, 60 percent of single moms still live in financial insecurity, with Hispanic and African-American women listed with the lowest incomes. A separate study also revealed that 84 percent of women who have divorced remain insecure about setting specific financial goals.

Source: Business Insider, “It’s getting easier for women to bounce back after divorce” Jill Krasny, Jan. 11, 2012

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