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Men who divorce experience drop in income

It's no secret that divorce causes serious financial strain. A spouse going through a divorce in Colorado may be faced with legal obligations to pay spousal support and child support, which can set a person back financially. A new study is showing that in addition to these factors, divorce can actually cause a reduction in income, at least among men.

The researchers looked at census data and compared productivity, as measured in income, for divorced men, married men and men who had never married. They learned that men who had undergone divorce made less income over a period of years than the married and never-married groups. In addition, the rate of income growth for divorced men was lower than for the others.

One divorce lawyer suggested that the lower levels of income and income growth may be related to the stress and depression that a man goes through during and after a divorce. In the workplace, a man who is trying to balance work with custody or visitation schedules, and who is also obligated to pay spousal or child support, may be less productive. In extreme cases the lack of productivity may result in job loss, further exacerbating the situation.

Over time, however, people do adjust. The attorney said that while he sees lower productivity and a temporary decline in income in many of his clients, many actually end up being more productive in the long term because of the increased financial obligations.

Although the study focused only on statistics related to men, it seems likely the same phenomenon occurs with women undergoing divorce. Regardless of gender, it is important for divorcing spouses to maintain their physical and emotional health as much as possible. If a spouse can find healthy ways to relieve the inevitable stress of divorce, the impact on productivity and income should be temporary.

Source: Deseret News, "Married men likely to make more money than those who divorce," Whitney Evans, Aug. 13, 2012 

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