• Emily Pringle

Divorce facts and figures

1. Women initiate divorce almost twice as often as men.

2. 90% of divorced mothers have custody of their children (even if they did not receive it in court).

3. 60% of people under poverty guidelines are divorced women and children.

4. 65% of divorced mothers receive no child support (figure based on all children who could be eligible, including never-married parents, when fathers have custody, and parents without court orders).

5. After divorce, women experience less stress and better adjustment in general than do men. The reasons for this are believed to be that (1) women are more likely to notice marital problems and to feel relief when such problems end, (2) women are more likely than men to rely on social support systems and help from others, and (3) women are more likely to experience an increase in self-esteem when they divorce and add new roles to their lives.

6. Men are usually confronted with greater emotional adjustment problems than women. The reasons for this are related to the loss of intimacy, the loss of social connection, reduced finances, and the common interruption of the parental role.

7. Men remarry more quickly than women.

8. Men who have shared parenting (joint legal custody), ample time with their children, and an understanding of and direct responsibility for activities and expenses of children are more involved in their children's lives, for a longer period, and are in greater compliance with child support obligations.

9. Men are initially more negative about divorce than women and devote more energy in attempting to salvage the marriage.