Divorces are never easy. They are major life events that have long-term implications. They are also stressful situations that affect the spouses and children involved.
A divorce affects both men and women. Everyone has emotional issues. While all parties involved will also see changes to their finances, women are hit the hardest in this respect. Divorces are more complicated for them, given that their median income is 81% of men’s. On top of that, if they are a mother, they are awarded child custody in an overwhelming majority—nearly 90%—of divorce cases.
As you can imagine, women tend to struggle more than men. They have to deal with childcare while making less money. The poverty rate for divorced women is also fairly high, at 27%, which is nearly triple the number of divorced men in poverty. Add in the fact that women have longer life expectancies and you can see why it is harder for a woman to not only afford divorce but to deal with the financial aftermath. Here are some common financial challenges that women face after a divorce.
Cost of Divorce
Never mind the effects of finances after the divorce. Women need to think about how to pay for the divorce. The average cost of a divorce is around $15,000. If your divorce is contested or there are significant assets involved, then it could cost even more. It is best to try mediation rather than battling it out in court. You will save money on lawyer fees and court costs. Seeking revenge and trying to be uncooperative will not be beneficial to you. It will just increase costs and delays. If you can cooperate and negotiate, the better you will be.
More than likely, you do not have enough money saved up to pay for a divorce. This is where getting a loan may be necessary. You can opt to get a loan from a lender or you may be able to borrow from friends or family. You can also ask your lawyer about payment plans and other options to reduce or defer costs.
Women tend to earn less than men for doing the same job. Once women take a break from the workforce to care for children, it can affect them for the rest of their lives. They lose their financial independence and often lack important skills. Then there is a large career gap on their resume, which is often frowned upon by employers, making it harder to land a decent job.
You can start taking steps to remedy this situation during the divorce. Your first step should be to open your own bank account and start putting money there. If you do not have a credit card in your name, get one. This will help you build your credit. Also, remove your name from joint utilities and other bills so you are not on the hook for paying them.
While it can be difficult to make more money, you can take steps to rein in your spending. Create a budget. Look at what you are spending your money on and find ways to cut back. At the same time, do not forget to plan for expenses such as taxes and health insurance.
Women often end up being the primary caregivers for their children after a divorce. This puts more stress on them as they try to balance work and family. They may have to pay exorbitant daycare expenses.
While they should be receiving child support from the fathers, this is not always the case. In fact, less than half of mothers with primary custody of the children receive full child support payments.
Finding a New Place to Live
While some women keep the marital home in a divorce, especially if there are children involved, not all do. They may not be able to afford it, which means they have to look for a new place to live that is within their budget.
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a new home. There are property taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance to think about. If you have children, you may want to buy a home near their school so they can at least continue that part of their routine. You may also want to choose a home that is near your job, if you work.
Buying a home can be daunting after a divorce, especially if your income or credit is a bit challenged. It may be better to rent a place for a few years after a divorce so that you can get an idea of what you want before committing to a major purchase such as a home. That way, you will not be stuck in a home or location that may not work for you.
Seek Legal Help
There is a lot of concern about money after a divorce. While men can also experience the effects of money problems, women tend to make less money overall, so their financial issues tend to increase. It is harder for them to get back on their feet.
The United States has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, but that does not mean the process is easy. Get the help you need from Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. We will ease the process and alleviate your concerns when it comes to finances. To schedule a consultation with our office, call (954) 398-5712 or fill out the online form.