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It's not bad enough that we have to divvy up homes, belongings and in some cases, pets and children, Suncorp reveals that the average Australian divorce has severe repercussions for newly separated singles as they work to re-establish their financial wealth.
Suncorp Superannuation's Untying The Knot report reveals the hidden costs for the country's 900,000 or so divorcees.
According to Head of Everyday Super Lisa Harrison, the most common concerns were property, child custody, the family car and the partner's income.
However, thousands of dollars were often excluded from the financial settlement because superannuation was not taken into account.
In fact, 86 per cent of divorcees did not consider superannuation as part of their divorce settlement - which meant they could expect to work another 10 years longer than other Australians to secure their financial security in retirement.
Take a look at the infographic here:
The Hidden Super Cost of Divorce - An infographic by the team at Suncorp
Isn't that sobering? It's so easy to take super into account when making your financial settlement with your ex, and so important for your future.
“Given that Australians are most likely to divorce in their early to mid-forties, there is a considerable amount of superannuation involved, with a 45 year old males’ average superannuation balance of $128,0006," Lisa says. "This is compared to $42,000 for women at their average age at divorce of 42.
“Legally a divorcee is entitled to half their partner’s super. Considering super during divorce could mean the difference between being able to retire when you want to, rather than having to work well into you’re 70s and beyond.
“It is critical, especially for Australian women, that they consider their partner’s superannuation as our survey shows that divorced women are more than twice as likely to feel like they need to be more resilient and smarter when it comes to money.”
A few other interesting facts and figures uncovered during the study included:
The Untying the Knot report paints a picture of what an average Australian divorce looks like
• Approximately 50,000 divorces occur every year in Australia.
• The average age of men at divorce is 45, while for women it is 42
• One in two divorces involve children (48%). Typically, the average divorce involves two children
• January is the most popular month of the year to start divorce proceedings
• Queensland is the divorce capital of Australia per capita (2.5) while the Northern Territory has the lowest rate of marriage breakdowns in the country (1.5).
• The seven year itch has been replaced with the nine year itch, while the average time it takes from separation to divorce is three and a half years
• Australia’s divorce rate of 2.2 is higher than China, France, New Zealand and the UK while more than half of the Russian Federations of 4.7.1
I am the author of Happily Ever Parted (Surviving Separation and Divorce), published by New Holland Australia, 2006. I've been divorced twice.