Divorce can be a difficult time for anyone, but it can be especially daunting for women over 50. There has been a rise of “gray” divorces since the 1990s and while that is a good thing for women getting out of bad relationships, it can have big financial consequences. Sometimes these consequences also impact a person’s decision to separate from their partner. This article discusses some of the most important factors influencing women in these divorces.
Women are Not Prepared
While the world has advanced considerably, traditional gender roles still have a big impact on marriage responsibilities. Women usually handle general household care, along with the household budget, but leave the bulk of financial management to their husbands. Men manage investments, large assets, taxes, loans or debt, retirement savings, etc. Around 56% of married women still do this, which has a big impact on their finances after divorce. This isn’t just limited to women from the older generation as millennials also leave financial management to their husbands.
This means women don’t really know how to manage finances outside household budgeting, which only adds to their stress after divorce. It is important to always remain involved in financial management while keeping track of all assets and investments. This makes taking over finances easier in case of a divorce.
Women Earn Less
While the gender pay gap has shrunk over time, it still exists as women earn only $0.82 cents for every dollar a man earns. According to U.S. News, white men earned $977 a week, women earned $790 a week, and black women earned $645 a week in the first quarter of 2017. This income disparity is more apparent in some fields over others, which has an impact on finances after divorce. Married individuals usually have a two-person income to rely on, so they’re accustomed to having a comfortable amount of money at their disposal. Unmarried individuals don’t just earn less, they also don’t have financial support from anyone.
Lack of Investments or Third Source of Income
Men are usually financial risk-takers, willing to invest in trading, new businesses, buying income-providing properties, etc. They will typically have multiple sources of income, which can provide better financial stability after a divorce. The same can’t be said for women as they’re more reluctant to invest or look for other sources of income unless they are in urgent need of money. They save money, open bank deposits, and look for less risky alternatives, which doesn’t provide much financial support. Women who are now in their fifties or approaching it rarely have additional income sources and don’t even know the status of their retirement savings.
Impact on Shared Businesses
Some couples run a business together, which means divorces have a big impact on its operations unless you have taken steps to prevent it. Sometimes divorces can cause shared businesses to collapse completely, which leaves behind debt, financial obligations, loss of income, and loss of stability.
It’s a good idea to hire a good lawyer, financial advisor, before taking a long look at your current state before choosing divorce.