Financial implications of relationship breakdown: does marriage matter?

Document type
Working Paper
Author(s)
Fisher, Hayley; Low, Hamish
Publisher
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Date of publication
8 October 2012
Series
IFS working paper; W12/17
Subject(s)
Families, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

Download (244KB )

In raw data in the UK, the income loss on separation for women who were cohabiting is less than the loss for those who were married. Cohabitees lose less even after matching on observable characteristics including age and children. This difference is not explained by differences in access to benefits or labour supply responses after separation. Results show that the difference arises because of differences in access to family support networks: cohabitees' household income falls by less because they are more likely to live with other adults, particularly their family, following separation, even after matching on age and children. Divorced women do not return to living with their extended families. The greater legal protection offered by marriage does not appear to translate into economic protection.

Related to Families

How are mothers and fathers balancing work and family under lockdown

Briefing on parental responsibilities during lockdown

The 100 year family: longer lives, fewer children

Report on changing pressures on families in the UK over time

Changing patterns in parental time use in the UK

Briefing paper on parenting in the UK

Parents and time pressure: evidence from time use diaries

Report on time pressures on parents over time

More items related to this subject