State of

Impact Report 2023

Thanks to our contributors


Who pays?

The costs of separation are paid by the individuals, by government and by employers. Many are familiar with the costs to the individual. However, this report highlights the large societal cost covered by the public purse and private organisations.

These societal costs stem from the long-term negative impacts of separation and divorce on children, mental and physical illness, poverty and homelessness, generational separation, family violence, self-harm and crime rates, plus workplace productivity and absenteeism.

We estimate that separation costs individuals, the Australian government and employers a combined $101 billion per year.

Estimated annual cost to society in Australia is $101 billion. Separation is estimated to have a societal cost of $868,792 per separating couple.

Stakeholder Groups

To understand the societal costs of divorce, you need to understand the stakeholders involved.

The individuals going through a separation or divorce

The professionals and programs that support them

Downstream stakeholders of the “ripple effect”
of divorce

Key Insights

This report highlights 5 key insights and current trends impacting the divorce sector.

Cost of living makes separation impossible for many


Acrimonious separation is on the rise


Engagement with the law is changing


Women are at risk of financial disadvantage


Business and professions - the forgotten impact


The Separation Guide aims to help as many Australians as possible through one of life’s hardest and most misunderstood experiences: separation and divorce. We support early education, early de-escalation and timely advice on fairness.
To this end, the State of Separation Impact Report 2023 shares unique data and practical insights for the benefit of separating couples and the crucial professionals and policymakers they rely on.
Our insights aim to empower all involved to make decisions so that separation and divorce are more manageable for millions of Australians.

Understanding the impact of separation and divorce means asking questions of

  • the people going through it
  • the providers who service demand
  • those affected by the downstream societal and economic impacts.

The Separation Guide can claim a unique understanding because it connects users to providers on a massive scale.
Individuals complete an online Q&A that educates, triages, and connects them to professional service providers from all disciplines nationwide.

Along this journey, users voluntarily and confidentially share information about their needs and those of their partner and children, and providers advise us about the sort of information they need to be able to service demand effectively.

As such, The Separation Guide holds unique quantitative and qualitative data sets.


About The Separation Guide

The Separation Guide is a technology platform connecting consumers and professionals.

We aim to reduce the impact of separation and divorce by making it simpler, more manageable and less stressful for the hundreds of thousands of Australians experiencing it every year.

Our approach emphasises early access to justice through education and technology-enabled holistic service delivery with a human-centred design. It has a proven positive impact by reducing time to achieving resolution and alleviating stress during separations.

Our data

The State of Separation Impact Report 2023 combines three years of research by The Separation Guide using qualitative and quantitative data.

Our insights are drawn from customer behaviour analytics from the start of 2020 to the end of 2022, including 228,323 website users, 16,319 anonymised Q&A submissions representing millions of data points, 568 completions of our 2023 Impact Survey with 38,850 data points, and anecdotal feedback supplied from customers and professional service providers in our network.

The external data includes inputs from some of the global leaders in legal technology who service the divorce sector, including intake provider Settify, intake, balance sheet and court order automation provider Family Property, practice management software provider Smokeball and legal financing providers Plenti and JustFund.

The report also references external research on separation and divorce and the well-researched societal impacts of this significant life event.