Divorce is bad for your bank account, particularly for those who stay single, research shows.

With divorced single men having A$762,000 ($990,000) less in assets at age 55 than those who have stayed married, and divorced single women having about A$645,000 less than women who have stayed married, the research shows a bleak financial outlook for the divorced.

The joint research conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), the Australian National University and the University of Queensland involved almost 7700 households from 2001 to 2010.

It found those who divorced were likely to have had lower household incomes before their marriage breakup than those who remained married.


Unless they remarried, the divorce then widened the financial gap.

Men who stayed married had a median net household assets level of A$1.044 million in the age range 55-64, while their single divorced counterparts had just A$282,000 in assets. Those who had divorced and repartnered fared better, with a median level of A$844,000.

For single divorced women, the outlook was also poorer compared with those who stayed married.

At ages 55-64, women who stayed in their first marriage had a median assets level of A$1 million, while their single divorced counterparts had A$355,000. Divorced women who repartnered fared better, having a median asset level of A$809,000.

AIFS senior research fellow Dr Lixia Qu said 55- to 64-year-old single divorced women might fare better in asset levels than their exes, because they more often became the primary carer for children and so kept the family home.