In 2018, researchers polled 1,785 women, at least 22% of whom were 55 years of age or older. Their intention in doing so was to gain a better perspective about the impact divorce can have on a woman’s financial future.
At least 46% of study respondents admitted that their divorce had left them with lingering financial problems. Some of the money woes that women faced were more pronounced than others.
Lack of familiarity with their own household finances
Many of the respondents reported not being very actively involved in managing their household’s finances during their marriages. Most relied on their husbands to earn a living while they stayed at home raising their kids.
The researchers not only found that many of the respondents didn’t know their husband’s income, but they also didn’t have a firm grasp on their monthly household expenses. The respondents noted that this lack of knowledge made requesting spousal maintenance or child support difficult.
Misconceptions about how finances work after a divorce
Researchers also discovered that many of the respondents were misinformed about how family law judges render decisions. Some of the misconceptions they had included:
- Being under the false impression that they’d be eligible for support when they didn’t actually qualify
- Thinking that quitting their careers to raise their kids would qualify them to receive spousal maintenance indefinitely
- Believing that they’d definitively qualify to receive spousal maintenance if their spouse had a higher income
- Not realizing that the amount they would receive depended, in part, on how much parenting time they have with the children
For example, many of the poll’s respondents expressed feeling shocked once they realized that spousal support is usually temporary, not permanent.
How to prepare for your impending divorce
One of the worst things you can do if you’re looking to file for divorce is to let your spouse know of your plans. Take time to begin compiling an inventory of marital assets, log monthly bills, gather together tax returns and other important documents.
You’ll also want to take time to learn more about New York divorce laws. Achieving a fair settlement in your divorce is contingent upon you being strategic in your actions.