• The financial repercussions of divorce can involve significant income loss and lifestyle change for many couples.
• Sometimes the fear of the financial repercussions of divorce stops couples from proceeding to divorce, despite the emotional consequences of staying together.
• A qualified relationship counsellor or psychologist can help you work through their choices, make clearer decisions and understand the consequences of their decisions.
Divorce comes with serious financial consequences – assets needs to be split, a second household needs to be funded and there may be the issue of child welfare payments. For most couples, the financial repercussions of divorce or separation are a hugely scary and stressful consideration, and what is more, these fears are usually entirely warranted and reasonable. So it is no wonder that many couples avoid the fear of financial stress and the accompany lifestyle change of divorce, and stay married – even if emotionally they believe a divorce would be a healthier step for them and their family.
Elsa had a university degree in physiotherapy but since the arrival of her children she had only ever worked part-time a couple of days a week. She and Don had decided that she would be around to care for the kids as much as possible and as money wasn’t an issue she had only worked to stay abreast of professional developments. Now that Elsa and Don were contemplating a divorce, Elsa began to realise that she wouldn’t be able to afford to work part-time if her and Don split up. Even with his ongoing childcare payments, she would need to find a way to meet the mortgage repayments or give up the house – a thought she did not relish, especially as it would mean even more change for the children. She realised that divorce would mean a return to full-time employment, which in turn would require full-time childcare. This was not the life she envisaged for her children or herself. She realised divorce would have a massive impact on her financial security and her lifestyle, and these thoughts filled Elsa with anxiety and trepidation – she honestly wasn’t sure how she would cope.
Faced with all of these daunting consequences and the fear of financial stress, Elsa decided that all things considered, she would just have to find a way to accept being married to Don, even if they weren’t particularly happy together.
Why does Divorce Equal Financial Loss?
For these reasons, the financial repercussions of divorce can be significant and substantial. These challenges can be especially discouraging for women who, more often than men, are the ones who earn less or who have forgone full-time employment during the marriage. For men, the idea of losing half of their assets, particularly if they are self-employed, can be demoralising.
What are the Emotional Consequences of Staying Married?
Depression is a common result of anger turned inward because we do not feel like we can express that anger in any acceptable way. In this particular situation, we may be angry that we feel like we must remain married even if we are unhappy, simply because we cannot afford to leave the relationship.
Resentment is another common emotional response of feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage. Resentment may be felt towards your partner, or even your kids (because it may be the financial prospect of caring for them that makes the financial burden of divorce unmanageable.
How Can Counselling Help?
One of the benefits of working with a counsellor is that they can act as an objective sounding board. They can help you with observations and suggestions that you might not have considered because they have a perspective from outside of the marriage. In this way, counselling with a professional relationship counsellor or psychologists might help you make the decision to proceed with a divorce, or it might help you deal with the emotional consequences of staying together. Either way, it can help to give you comfort and clarity during a confusing and stressful time.
How Can I Get Help With my Relationship or Marriage?
Contact Associated Counselors & Psychologists Sydney for more information.