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Why women often fare worse, financially, in later-life divorce

| Jun 14, 2021 | Divorce |

Women are often in a difficult position when facing divorce. On one hand, they should feel free to leave a situation that doesn’t feel comfortable or welcoming any longer. On the other hand, women are still largely working in less profitable jobs, and may have stayed home to take care of their children, which can put them at a disadvantage financially in the wake of a divorce.

When divorcing later in life, women may not have the financial supports that their spouses do, especially if they did not cultivate a career. Women face an additional stressor in that they tend to earn less than their male counterparts, so even if they did save for retirement, they may not have as much as their spouses.

Women often face challenges in later-life divorce

There are all kinds of challenges that women may face if they get a divorce later in life, such as finding it hard to reenter the workforce or not having the time to build up a lucrative career. They may not own as many assets and may have relied on their spouses to provide for them in the past. According to one study, up to 27% of women who left their marriages in the United States ended up in poverty. This is triple the rate of poverty following divorce for men.

What can women do to make their financial futures more secure?

If you are female and intend to separate from your spouse, there are a few things you can do. To start with, you may want to look into saving up some money in a separate account, so that you have access to that support following the initial divorce.

Another thing to consider is asking for a larger portion of the marital assets to make up for the times when you didn’t work or couldn’t work due to childrearing or taking care of the home.

You may also want to consider seeking spousal support, which may be permanent in some cases, to help raise your income and give you another level of financial support. This, combined with a share of your spouse’s retirement income, may be a good way to set up a financially secure future.

Know your legal rights when you divorce. Be careful about the decisions you make, so you can have a stable future.