Recently, Forbes ran an interesting article that listed the six most common financial surprises for women during divorce. They are:
- Lack of awareness of the total marital debt
- Not anticipating a return to the workforce
- Overestimating amount and duration of child and spousal support
- Expecting to keep the marital home
- High cost of health insurance
- Underestimating the cost of divorce
These survey results should serve as a big neon sign to women who think they might pursue a divorce, as one should have a good working plan prior to divorce. What can women do to avoid these surprises?
First, do a full financial inventory. Obtain copies of all bank statements, investment accounts, credit card balances and the mortgage.
Second, run a credit check to see what accounts may be attached to your name. You may find out you have marital debt of which you were unaware.
Third, begin looking at the job market if you are not currently employed.
Fourth, begin looking at alternative housing if you need to downsize.
Fifth, look at marketplace health plans as alternatives to your current health insurance if through your spouse.
And finally – consult an attorney to learn about the full divorce process and what you can expect, not only in terms of time and conflict, but also cost.
If you follow these steps, you will avoid the element of surprise.
If you have questions about finances and divorce, contact us – we can help.