How parents cope financially on marriage breakdown

Alison Perry, Gillian Douglas, Mervyn Murch, Kay Bader and Margaret Borkowski

Although divorce is central to debate on the family, little attention has been paid to the short-term challenges families face arising from a decision to end a marriage.

This study redresses the balance by focusing on how separating couples cope financially before the ending of their marriage is legally resolved. It:

  • charts the changes in families' income and expenses, employment and housing circumstances;
  • looks at their responses to these changes, and their sources of advice, support and help;
  • collects information on the settlements divorcing parents made, their motivations and objectives in reaching them, and their attitudes to the legal process.

The authors conclude by considering the legal and policy implications regarding marriage breakdown and financial provision on separation and divorce.