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Financial shocks can accompany divorce

Divorce can often carry with it financial consequences that can be far more significant than the emotional and practical aspects of ending a marriage. When couples in Arizona decide to divorce, it can often be a harsh financial awakening for one or both divorcing spouses. This is borne out in a study conducted in which 1,750 divorced or divorcing women discussed the financial impacts of divorce. Nearly half of all respondents said that they had experienced financial surprises during the process, with younger women even more likely than older women to face a sudden shock.

For many women who had been stay-at-home mothers and wives for many years, the return to the workforce was itself a financial shock. In some cases, they were unable to obtain the salary that they expected, while in other instances they faced career setbacks due to years outside the workforce. The cost of healthcare as a single person was also a significant financial issue for the survey participants. Many had expected alimony and spousal support payments to last longer than they did, and transitioning away from reliance on those payments was a difficult adjustment.

The divorce process itself was also a source of financial surprises, both in the costs of divorce as well as learning the full extent of the marital debt that belonged to both partners, from credit card debt to home mortgages to auto loans. For women who had been in the workforce, the division of retirement accounts was often a significant financial change.

While many may expect that these financial shocks were felt more harshly by older women, it was younger women who were more likely to be surprised by the state of their finances. A family law attorney may be able to help a divorcing spouse to understand their finances, protect their rights and achieve a just settlement on matters including spousal support and property division.

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