Women who initiate their divorce do worse financially than who are left by their husbands, new research suggests.
Dr Belinda Hewitt of the Institute for Social Research in Queensland set out to discover whether initiating a divorce made a difference to household finances. She analysed data from the long-running Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey, looking specifically at the income of 6,424 men and women before and after divorce.
”We wanted to know whether anticipating the end of the relationship, and therefore putting in place strategies to avoid financial consequences, could make a difference”.
She discovered that women’s incomes were lower in the first year after divorce if they had made the decision to separate. Meanwhile, there were no significant differences in the incomes of divorced men who had the decision, compared to those who hadn’t.
Men may be more reluctant to provide financial support and maintenance if their partner initiates the split, Dr Hewitt said. ‘Whereas, if the man has initiated a divorce, he might feel guilty and be far more co-operative.”