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Study says divorce hits women harder than men

According to a recent study, divorce makes the lives of women more difficult than men. Three of the largest factors that make divorce more difficult for women are property division, disproportionate child care responsibilities and the difficulty of find a new partner. A new study says that after divorce the quality of life of a woman drops by 45 percent. One attorney and divorce book author says that women often decide to get divorced before they plan what their finances will look like afterwards.

Take the story of one female divorcee whose finances were crushed by child support and the loss of custody of her three children. The woman's husband remarried a close friend 30 days after their divorce, and a judge ruled that her children would be better off in a household with two incomes. The woman was devastated. She had lost her kids and was in dire financial straits. The woman said she learned to live on a reduced budget and helped the elderly and picked up trash for extra money. Now, the woman is remarried, connected to her children and happy, but divorce shook her life.

According to the National Council of Family Relations, over 50 percent of married couples will divorce, and the chance that a marriage will end in its first five years is 20 percent. Some divorce attorneys say that women do not fight as hard as they should for assets from their marriage. The lower job opportunities for women after divorce along with social isolation may contribute to decreased mental and physical health. In comparison to married women who never divorce, physical illness is nearly 40 percent higher in divorced women.

Source: ABCNews, "Women take biggest hit in divorce, say experts," Susan Donaldson James, 2/4/11

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