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Women often face financial surprises during divorce

Almost half of all divorcing women in New York and around the country face unexpected financial issues during the process, according to a study by Worthy. To avoid such situations, many experts suggest that women investigate their financial situation before heading to court.

For the study, Worthy surveyed 1,785 women who were going through various stages of divorce. The study included those who were considering it, those who were in the middle of one and those whose divorce had been finalized. Approximately 22 percent of the participants were ages 55 and older, and most of the women in that age group had already completed their divorce. The study found that 46 percent of the participants had experienced nasty financial surprises during their divorce. Of those who reported such surprises, nearly 50 percent were under the age of 55, while 38 percent were at or over that age.

Examples of financial surprises may include the size of the marital debt, having to return to the workforce to make ends meet, insufficient child and/or spousal support payments, loss of the marital home, high health insurance costs and the total cost of the divorce. To avoid these problems, experts say women should take an active role in their marital finances, including investment decisions. They also suggest that divorcing women learn about their investment and savings options as soon as possible.

Women whose marriages are coming to an end may benefit from contacting a family law attorney about their legal options. In many cases, legal counsel could take the lead in negotiating a settlement agreement that attempts to protect the client's financial future.

Source: Next Avenue, "The 6 Nasty Financial Surprises for Divorcing Women," Laurie Itkin, July 12, 2018

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