IF FALLING in love is hard on the knees, falling out of love is harder on the wallet. Australian research shows that the assets of those who split up are $180,000 to $190,000 less than non-divorced people and the gap doubles to $360,000 to $390,000 six years after divorce.
Assets take the biggest hit post-divorce for men and women but women suffer the most in terms of income in the immediate aftermath.
The annual household income of divorced women fell by an average of $10,000 in the first year after divorce but for men it increased by $7000.
The research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the Australian National University and University of Queensland used data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Study involving nearly 7700 households and 14,000 people from 2001 to 2010.
Matthew Gray, a researcher from the ANU, said divorcees could recover financially in terms of income but it was harder in terms of assets. "There are very big differences in assets between those who divorce and those who don't divorce and that gap widens ... That persists into later life, into retirement."
Six years after divorce, women's average household income was $3000 more than their pre-divorce income while men were earning $13,000 more.