For any woman going through a divorce, one of the greatest concerns about the future is whether she will have enough money to live on.

A 2018 survey of women in various stages of divorce revealed that a large number faced financial situations that they had not anticipated.

About the survey

The online marketplace Worthy conducted a survey about the financial side of ending a marriage, in which 1,785 divorced or soon-to-be-divorced women participated. The women represented all age groups, but 22% were 55 or older. Of this group, 38% reported that they had faced “financial surprises” as the result of divorce, whereas almost half of the younger age groups experienced unexpected financial issues.

The major surprises

Here are the main financial surprises that women most often encounter because of divorce:

  • Not being aware of the total size of their marital debt
  • Assuming that they could keep the home
  • Thinking that alimony or child support would be higher
  • Not anticipating having to go back to work
  • Underestimating the high cost of health care
  • Underestimating the cost of going through a divorce

Lessons learned

One of the reasons that divorcing women feel blindsided by a less-than-robust financial picture is that many were content to leave their husbands in charge of marital finances. The women, therefore, did not realize how much credit card debt there was, how much remained on the car loans or student loans or even how much the mortgage payments were.

Taking responsibility

Divorce means starting a new life on your own and taking responsibility for your decisions. In the survey, those most concerned about their financial future were the millennials, and yet less than 10% were thinking about building an investment portfolio. By contrast, 22% of the Boomer babies focused on this aspect of their financial future. At the end of the day, every divorce is unique. With compassionate legal support, every woman gets through it, learns how to deal with unexpected financial surprises and finds the strength to move on.