Breaking up is hard to do, and costly, survey says

Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:33am EST
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Breaking up is hard to do and it is also expensive, with an Australian survey finding it cost people on average A$69,000 ($45,000) to rebuild their lives after splitting up.

The survey for financial services group Bankwest found 19 percent of respondents who had been married estimated it cost over $100,000 to start a new life, while the average cost was slightly less. It also took several years to recover financially.

"It's natural that couples in long-term relationships buy big ticket items together without giving a thought that one day they might split up," said Bankwest spokeswoman Selina Duncalf in a statement.

"But our research showed that nearly one in four people estimated it took longer than two years to get back on their feet financially after a split. Many are still struggling to get back on their feet years later."

The online survey of 470 Australians who split from a relationship in the past five years found that 92 percent of married couples had made joint purchases while 70 percent of couples living together had done so.

Typical joint purchases were houses, televisions, fridges, couches and cars.

The poll, conducted by Brand Management in late January, found that nearly half, or 48 percent, lost friends as a result of splitting up while 46 percent said their social life improved.

Contrary to February being seen as a romantic month, with Valentine's Day on February 14, the survey found it was the worst month for marriage breakups with 13 percent of couples ending their relationships then.

($1=1.533 Australian dollar)

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)