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Does divorce affect higher income families in a different way?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2021 | Divorce

Divorce has many consequences. For many families, the biggest impact is the emotional toll it can take due to the changes within the family structure.

According to Time, studies show that the impact of divorce can be worse for higher-income families, which is shocking to many since these families will usually not suffer from financial strains after the divorce.

Disproportionate effects

The disproportionate effects seem to be on the children in the divorce. While one would assume that children from higher-income families would be more likely to reach their educational goals after experiencing a divorce, they are actually more likely to drop out of school or forgo higher education than their less wealthy peers. This may seem counterintuitive, but is borne out by the data.


If a divorce is unexpected or exceptionally disruptive, it will likely have a larger negative impact on the children. One reason why divorce seems to impact wealthier families more is that disruption or instability in their lives is not normal whereas in lower-income families, it is more of a common occurrence.

Divorce can be quite disruptive. It changes everything a child is familiar with. When it occurs unexpectedly, there is no chance for a child to prepare. It shocks them and can lead to coping issues.

When the divorce is something a child expects to happen, they handle it better. They are more able to adjust and keep moving forward as if nothing happened.

In lower-income families, instability and uncertainty are often commonplace, but wealthier families will have more stability and not face the same issues. So, when a divorce occurs in a wealthy family, children have fewer coping skills and the divorce becomes incredibly more disruptive.