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Survey looks at surprises, fears of divorcing women

Some women in Georgia may be unprepared for the financial reality of divorce. According to a survey by the online marketplace Worthy, almost half of all women who were divorced said they had encountered unpleasant financial surprises during their divorce. Women reported their number one fear in a divorce was the difficulty of living on one income followed by the fear of what the divorce would cost.

The latter is also a common surprise for women during divorce. Women have also been surprised to learn the extent of debt in their family finances. This debt may include auto loans, student loans, the mortgage, credit card debt and more. Some women expect alimony to last longer and are surprised that they will have to go back to work outside the home. Others do not expect the high cost of health insurance or assume they can keep the family home when it is not possible.

In some cases, the surprise comes because the women have let their husbands handle the family finances. This was the case for 18 percent of women 55 and over and 23 percent of women younger than 55. Being involved in the family finances makes the adjustment after divorce less difficult, and all women should get an understanding of the family assets and expenses going into a divorce.

People who are considering divorce may want to gather as many financial documents as possible and consult an attorney about how the financial side of the divorce might progress. Helpful documents could include credit reports, tax returns, bank statements and investment information. The attorney may be able to discuss options with the person and assist the person in property division negotiation. Couples often prefer these negotiations since they remain in control of the outcome, but if negotiations are unsuccessful, they may have to go to court.

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