Is divorce harder for Mum Or Dads?

When children are involved in divorce it’s tough on everyone. Although every case is different, there are some recurring issues affecting mums and dads. If you are a mum or a dad thinking about a divorce, then it’s advisable to do your research and find a good family lawyer to support you in achieving the best possible outcome. Searching online using a family solicitor search engine is one of the quickest routes to help you find a suitable solicitor in your region. In this article, we look at some of the key issues affecting divorcing parents. 

Mental health effects 

Mental health is a factor helping both mums and dads during a divorce. A common issue for mums is the daunting prospect of not seeing her children as often. Although mums often appreciate that children need to spend quality time with both parents, it can be difficult to come to terms with and adapt to. Following a divorce, the reality can take time to get used to, particularly if a mum is used to seeing her children every day. And ahead of a divorce, the prospect of living half the time alone can induce dread, or fear that a court will grant their ex-partner more time with their children. In some cases, parents may compete to gain favour from their children which can be an added stress for some mothers who may feel unable to compete, and worry they won’t be as close to their children. Both parents are also likely to worry about their child’s mental health too. 

The financial impact

Research suggests that women are more likely to experience financial problems following divorce. Although child maintenance is paid to mums who have the children the majority of time, they can often incur additional and unforeseen costs not covered by these payments. This can leave some mums with the difficult decision of whether they should leave work or not, or cut down their hours so they can pick up children from school, for example. According to a study examining the financial impact of financial hardship on single parents by SpringerLink, the parent with primary custodial responsibility was considered to be the one with the main financial burden, incurring both stress and worry, ‘worsened by unanticipated life events’.  

Feeling overwhelmed with responsibility 

Although many mums are often happy to have primary custody, this scenario also leaves them with more responsibility. Day to day practical tasks such as feeding children, taking them to school or nursery, organising activities and ensuring emotional and social needs are also taken care of can take its toll on single mothers. It is therefore crucial that mums prioritise their own physical and emotional well-being too. 

The effect on dads

Although there are recurrent issues related to mums and divorce, dads often have a tough time too. The emotional effects of divorce on dads can be far reaching. Some single fathers may feel a sense of grief at the idea of losing their child or children. They may also feel inferior, or a failure for not providing for their children. A 2013 article in the Guardian states that 400,000 families were headed by lone fathers in 2012 – making up only 13.5% of all single-parent households. This fact alone can make some fathers worry that they will lose out significantly on time spent with their children after a divorce. 


No matter whether you are a mum or a dad, going through a divorce with children involved is a distressing time. Breaking up the family unit has a range of complex challenges and struggles that are often interchangeable and affect both mums and dads

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