There is a popular thought out there that women come out of a divorce financially ahead. However, post-divorce life can be financially difficult for men and women alike. Some women, especially, find that they are starting out their life post-divorce at a financial disadvantage.
Do women come out ahead financially in a divorce?
According to one researcher, women who were employed either before marrying, during their marriage or after their divorce saw a 20% downswing in their income if they divorced. In addition, the poverty rate for women who have separated from their spouses sits at just under 30%. Meanwhile, one research found that men, unlike women, can experience a 30% uptick in their income following a divorce.
This runs counter to the popular perception that women experience financial gains following a divorce. Women are more likely than men to volunteer to leave their jobs in order to raise their families at home. This puts some of these women at a financial disadvantage compared to their spouses who stayed in the workforce.
Is divorce affordable for women?
In addition, some people spend a lot of money on their divorce. While amicable divorces are often affordable for many, a contested divorce that drags on for years can sometimes cost women a significant amount of money. Women may have to take out a loan or put their divorce on credit, putting them in debt as they start out their new life as a single individual.
That being said, divorce can be expensive for men too. Even if a man is ordered to pay spousal support or child support, if he cannot afford these costs on a single income, then he may default in payments leading to money that the woman never sees.
Some couples in Texas have found that the best way to avoid financial detriment is to try to work out a divorce settlement out-of-court. Through negotiations, each spouse can work towards a financial outcome that is fair and feasible for both of them. Sometimes a woman may need spousal support for some time, but not necessarily permanently. There are times, however, when a man is on the receiving end of spousal support or child support. By working out a settlement to their divorce, these spouses were able to reach an agreement that meets both of their needs and interests.