Divorce is usually traumatic for everyone involved — well, except the divorce attorneys — but ample research shows that in many ways it’s harder on women.
Women who divorced at least once in their life were 24% more likely to have a heart attack than women who stayed married, according to a 2015 study by Duke University researchers, and divorcing more than once pushed the risk to 77%. Even after remarriage, women’s risks remained higher. Conversely, men’s risks increased only after two divorces, and remarrying wiped away the higher heart attack potential.
Within a year of divorcing, more women than men live in poverty and receive public assistance. They earn less money and are less likely to be able to afford to live independently, according to 2009 U.S. Census Bureau data. Divorce can hurt not just a woman’s income but her credit standing and retirement savings as well.
It’s important that women understand how these issues are likely to affect them, so they can prepare themselves as they transition into the next chapter of their lives.