The Challenges that Women Face During a Divorce

Of the 50 states, Colorado has the 15th highest divorce rate [1], with most divorces being attributed to a lack of family support, infidelity, incompatibility and financial stress [2]. Divorce is an emotionally complex process that impacts the divorcees, their children and their lifestyle.

Although it is common these days for women to be financially independent, with their own income outside the home and sharing childcare responsibilities with their spouse, they are still more likely to struggle with the aftermath of a divorce than their ex-husband. Here is a look at the common challenges women face during and after a divorce.


Even though ending an unhappy relationship is often the right move, there will always be an element of guilt involved. Women may feel guilty about not trying hard enough, not giving it enough chances or creating an unstable environment for their children.

Women may feel guilty about the time that they “wasted”, the choices that they did not make and the opportunities they did not pursue. Guilt is a normal reaction to stressful situations, and women are more likely to experience feelings of guilt, regret and longing due to their heightened emotional connections [3]. 

It is important for women to acknowledge these feelings but then move past them, consider the positive changes that a divorce will enable, create an action plan for achieving their goals and desires, and pursue it vigorously. 

Financial instability

A woman facing divorce will often feel financially unstable, particularly if her husband is the primary breadwinner. She may have concerns about her ability to cope financially and provide for herself and their children in the event of a divorce. 

Sometimes financial insecurity causes couples in a rocky relationship to stay together for longer than they should because their fears about how they will cope on only one salary outweigh the dissatisfaction they experience from being in an unhappy relationship.

An experienced family law attorney will ensure that financial considerations are factored into divorce proceedings and explore all avenues to help the woman receive sufficient alimony and child support to allow her to maintain an acceptable standard of living post-divorce.

Social perceptions

Women often associate divorce with failure, and some may be concerned that their social circle will share this view. While it is true that men tend to have an easier time leaving a relationship than women, this is usually because women tend to become the primary caregiver for their children, therefore taking on greater responsibility while men return more easily to single life.

The assumption that the community will view a divorced woman unfavorably is outdated. Women who are facing divorce or returning to single life should feel proud that they are doing what is right for them and their family, hold their heads high, and remember that only the two people in the marriage need to know the full story of why they chose to part.

Work-life balance

After a divorce, a woman will need to complete all of her usual jobs, including childcare, housework and paid work, but also take on the tasks that her spouse previously handled. It may feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all these jobs to the usual high standard, and the cost of outsourcing those that cannot be accomplished can quickly mount up.

It can be very hard to achieve a comfortable work-life balance after a divorce, and women quickly become stressed when they feel like they are constantly working but still not achieving the results they are expecting.

It is helpful for women to keep in mind that it is impossible for one person to do two people’s jobs and to lower their expectations. Stressing themselves out is not healthy and will not help. Their attorney will help to set a child access schedule to ease the pressure, and alimony discussions may also take into account the costs of outsourcing work that cannot be accomplished to a satisfactory standard following the divorce.

Childcare responsibilities

Even though the state of Colorado prefers to award joint custody in the event of a divorce, the woman will often assume primary responsibility for childcare, and this can weigh heavy on her mind. She will usually also be concerned about the impact of the divorce on the welfare of the children and worry about a lack of familial stability.

This concern can be eased by arranging a good shared parenting agreement and ensuring that her ex-husband plays his part, remains a strong presence in his children’s life, and that the divorcees present a united front when discussing their relationship with their children. 

There are many ways in which a divorce can affect women more than men. At Lewis & Matthews, P.C., our team is experienced in navigating these situations. We will help you to reach a fair outcome that will put your mind at ease, reduce your stress and help you prepare for your future.