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The Public and Private Economic Impacts of Divorce

Zachary WillisKatherine Kirk Posted in Honoring Families

It is undisputed that divorce can be a costly endeavor for families, but a recent study from Great Britain suggests that the economic impact of divorce extends far beyond the family unit. This month, Great Britain’s Welfare Minister released alarming statistics from a recent study by the Relationships Foundation.

The study estimated that family breakdown costs the country £46 billion a year—£1,541 for every taxpayer. Linking family breakdown to children’s mental health issues, problems in school, and criminal involvement, the study took into account costs to the healthcare, education, and justice systems.

The IAALS Honoring Families Initiative has explored the broader, society-wide effects of divorce and separation. In her article “It Is Just Good Business: The Case for Supporting Reform in Divorce Court,” IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis discusses the ways that the stress of divorce can impact employees’ ability to work productively and, in turn, a business’ bottom line.

It is IAALS’ hope that by reforming the adversarial, costly nature of divorce and separation proceedings, these negative economic impacts can be mitigated—to the benefit of both the public and private sectors.