Women have increasingly become equal or even greater breadwinners than their husbands. However, that doesn’t mean that they are becoming more involved in the household finances. A 2012 study found that just 19 percent of women made the majority of financial decisions in their relationships. A 2014 study echoed those findings, noting that significant financial decisions, including real estate purchases, college planning and estate planning were largely left up to the men.
What does this mean for women who find themselves in the midst of a divorce? One divorce financial analyst says she finds that even women who were the larger earners in the relationship are “not as knowledgeable as they should be” because they have delegated most of the financial chores to their husbands.
This lack of knowledge, particularly among older women who, according to some studies, are divorcing at an increasing rate, is concerning to financial advisors. That’s why it may be necessary for divorcing women to hire financial and tax professionals along with a family law attorney to help ensure that they understand all of the assets involved and make the best decisions for both their short-term and long-term future.
Another factor that may affect women’s decision-making ability in divorces, according to this divorce financial analyst, is their tendency to let their emotions get in the way of sound financial decisions. This can be particularly true when it comes to the family home. In many cases, it’s not in their best financial interest to keep it. However, because so much of their life and memories are intertwined with the home, it may be difficult to let it go.
When women divorce in their 50s and 60s, their focus needs to be on how they are going to live in their retirement. When a couple splits their assets at this point in their lives, it may be difficult for each spouse living separately to have the lifestyle they envisioned for themselves in their golden years.
The decisions you make during your divorce will have a significant impact on your future. That’s why sound legal and financial guidance is essential.
Source: ThinkAdvisor, “For Divorcing Women, Becoming Financially Knowledgeable Is Crucial,” July 02, 2015