Divorce may be a contributor to poverty

It should be no surprise to most people in Minnesota that getting divorced can hurt a person's finances. The sheer act of having to split assets reduces a person's wealth. In addition, the cost of living for a single person is greater than the cost of living for a couple in one household, a fact that contributes to the popularity of having roommates at certain stages of life. Now there is some research coming out of Bowling Green State University that puts some hard numbers to just how serious the financial problems due to a divorce can really become.

Researchers have found that people who were divorced but who never got married again had significantly higher rates of poverty by the time they were 63 or older than their married counterparts. Those counterparts included people who had been divorced but who later got married again as well as people who got married once and stayed married. The group who is the most negatively impacted by a divorce is women whose marriages ended after they were 50 years old.

For females over 62 who got divorced after the age of 50, the poverty rate was almost 27%. In contrast, males over 62 who got divorced after the age of 50 had a poverty rate of 11.4%. Divorced women who ended their marriages prior to turning 50 had a poverty rate of 18.6%. For men in this same group, the poverty rate was 10.7%.

People who had been divorced and then remarried had poverty rates of 3.1% for those divorced before 50 and 3.3% for those divorced after 50. Continuously married persons had a poverty rate of 3.4%.



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