Divorce Statistics: A Look at Women and Divorce

After divorce, women tend to experience less stress and better overall emotional adjustment than do men


Talk to any American about divorce and they can probably tell you that more than half of today’s marriages are ending in divorce. But this isn’t surprising news, and most people have heard that particular statistic. However, there are lots more interesting facts about divorce and women, beyond the number of people involved in it. Here are some of them, for your information:


Facts about women and divorce in the U.S:

  • On average, women initiate divorce twice as often as men do.
  • About one fifth of all women fall into poverty as a result of divorce.
  • 60 percent of the people currently living under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ‘poverty guidelines’ are divorced women and children.
  • Studies show that women who place their children in child care while they work, experience a greater stigma than men who do the same. Single working dads often attract more support and compassion than single working moms.
  • About one quarter of all divorced women in the U.S. lose their health insurance, at least for a period of time, after the divorce is final.
  • 90 percent of divorced mothers have custody of their children, even if they were not officially granted custody by the court.
  • About one in three women who own a home and have children who still live at home when they divorce, lose their homes as a direct result.
  • Three quarters of all divorced mothers with child-support orders don’t receive their full payment.
  • 65 percent of divorced mothers receive no child support at all.
  • Single mothers living in the U.S. support up to four children on an average annual income of $12,200. (after taxes)
  • Women often require help from public assistance programs (welfare, WIC) to supplement their family’s financial needs after divorce. In many cases, this assistance still fails to meet their needs.
  • In cases where the mother is required to pay child support to the father, almost 47 percent of non-custodial mothers totally default on child support, while only 26.9 percent of non-custodial fathers totally default on support.

In addition, there is the fact that after divorce, women tend to experience less stress and better overall emotional adjustment than do men. The reasons for this are:

  1. women are more likely to notice marital problems than men are, and subsequently to feel relief when those problems are ended;
  2. women are more likely to rely on social support systems and help from others than men are; and
  3. women are more likely to experience an increase in self-esteem when they divorce, which can mean new careers, new freedoms, and new responsibilities


We hope this list of facts  has been eye-opening for you. While some of these statistics can be a little scary sounding, especially if you are female, we would like to remind you that all of these things are variables that depend on how your divorce was handled. A good attorney that represents you aggressively is the best way to ensure that your post-divorce life isn’t an endless series of financial struggles. So if you are considering getting divorced, contact our experienced family law attorneys today. We can work with you to ensure that yours, and your children’s futures, are protected.