Earlier this week, we began a discussion of a recently released study from the United States Census Bureau, which reported that the divorce rate in Georgia and throughout the southern region of the country is higher than the national average. Specifically, the study reported that the divorce rate in the south was 10.2 percent for men and 11.1 percent for women in 2009, above the national average of 9.2 percent for men and 9.7 percent of women.

The "Marital Events of Americans: 2009" study, which was conducted using census data from the 2009 American Community Survey, also examined the economic impact of divorce on families and children. The study found that mothers had primary physical custody of about 75 percent of the children who lived with a parent that divorced in 2009.

The women studied in the survey reported lower household income than recently divorced men. Approximately 27 percent of divorced women had less than $25,000 in annual household income, while just 17 percent of men reported income below $25,000.

Further, 22 percent of recently divorced women had income below the poverty level, while only half as many men were living in poverty. The study also found that about 30 percent of children who lived with a recently divorced parent were living in a household below the poverty level, while only 19 percent of children from non-divorced households lived in poverty.

Divorce affects the finances of all families, regardless of their income levels. There are several options, such as mediation or an uncontested divorce, that can make the split less costly. If you are contemplating divorce, a family law attorney can discuss these options with you.

Source: Reuters, "More untie the knot in South, Northeast divorces least: Census," Molly O'Toole, Aug. 25, 2011