PhD Research – Can you Help?

Suzi Godson
PhD Researcher

Divorce is a miserable experience at any time, but in mid-life it can be even more challenging.

This is particularly true for women, who are often juggling biological chaos, with an empty nest, ageing parents and rapidly diminishing employment options.

Because many women who divorce in midlife are ill informed about the nature of the legal process, they assume that their partner has on-going financial responsibility for them.

In fact, a middle-aged woman who is employed and/or has assets, may find that the reverse is the case. And although we read about celebrities having quickie divorces, in reality, the process can be frustratingly slow.

In order to understand this experience more completely, I am carrying out a PhD study which explores what it feels like to transition out of a long-established marriage in midlife.

It’s a timely study because although the overall divorce rate has stabilised at around 42%, in mid-life, the odds of divorce are much worse. In 2013 alone, nearly 60,400 people over the age of 50 got divorced in England and Wales, and between 1991 and 2011 there has been a 73% increase in the number of divorces awarded to men over the age of sixty; the average length of those marriages was 27 years.


The study is longitudinal, so it tracks women from Decree Nisi through to Decree Absolute and beyond.

It will also explore the impact of employment and income. Taking part in the study involves two or three relaxed face-to-face interviews and everything that is said is completely anonymous and confidential.

I am still looking for a few participants who are working and earning over 22.5k a year and if this sounds like you, I’d love to hear from you.

You need to be female, aged 50+,  getting divorced,  have your Decree Nisi, but not your Decree Absolute and your children should be aged 18+.

To join the study, type the following URL into the search bar of your web engine and fill in the short questionnaire that appears:

 Alternatively you can email me at

Credit feature photo – Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

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