Both men and women face uncertainties about the future when they divorce. However, a recent study emphasizes the financial surprises in store for women that may not be such a concern for men.
About the study
The study, entitled “Building a Financial Fresh Start,” was undertaken by Worthy®, and 1,785 women participated. About 22% of the participants were 55 or older. Everyone taking part in the study was in one of three stages: facing divorce, in the midst of the process or already divorced.
To better understand the effect divorce has on women in the financial sense, participants answered questions regarding how they handled finances during marriage. Some deferred to their husbands, content to have them earn the money, invest it and pay the bills.
Surprisingly, younger women relinquished more financial control to their husbands than the 55-and-older set. The participants were also asked if they had experienced or were experiencing unwelcome financial surprises because of divorce. Nearly half of the younger group said yes, along with about 38% of the older group.
Here are six of the financial surprises most often encountered among women who divorce:
- Being unaware of total marital debt
- Assuming that they will retain the family home
- Assuming longer-lasting alimony or child support
- Not anticipating the need to return to the workforce
- Not realizing how much health care insurance costs
- Underestimating the cost of divorce
Points to consider
If you face divorce, remember that you are also facing a financial future on your own. You are no longer part of a couple. First steps toward forming a more secure future include understanding your current net worth, including both marital and separate assets, and proceeding from there. With sound legal guidance, you can make decisions that help you create a suitable standard of living and breathe a sigh of relief for your future.