Research project

Divorce, separation, and the economic security of women in Germany

As in other European countries, family structures in Germany are characterised by high divorce and separation rates. This project, led by Michaela Kreyenfeld, focuses on the relevance of these developments for the economic security of women. The first part of the project deals with the employment behavior of women after separation and divorce – with the question of how these patterns differ by region, number and age of children, and previous employment behavior, as well as with whether these patterns have changed over time. In the second section, the effect of institutional regulations on the employment behavior of divorced women is analysed. Here the focus is on the 2008 reform, as spousal support has been curtailed since then. In the third section of the project we look at long-term effects of separation and divorce, especially on how breaks in the employment and relationship biographies have an impact on pension entitlements of women.


German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs



1 July 2017 – 30 June 2019


Project lead

Faculty and researchers

  • Anke Radenacker, Research Associate to Michaela Kreyenfeld