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How divorce cripples women financially and what to do about it

Historically, the female population in America has been marginalized when it comes to the gender inequality of income. This includes divorced women. It certainly takes great courage to walk out of a marriage that is toxic and unresponsive to any type of help. However, neither do you want to be at a crippling financial disadvantage when there are ways to prevent this before a divorce is finalized.

Typically, men end up walking away with financial security after a marital split. At the same time, women are often the ones who have traditionally been favored in the majority of child custody disputes. Should a father not pay child support, and the mother is having difficulties finding sufficient employment, this can easily put the woman in an unfortunate situation of struggle and financial hardship.

What contributes to gender income inequality in divorce?

When a woman makes less than her spouse after a divorce, final amounts are based on income earned and the assets they divide between them. Women, who have spent most of their marriage at home, often find it difficult to start a new life when forced to enter a job market that they feel disqualified to participate in; one with increasing reliance on technology and the lack of prior knowledge and experience. Smaller entry-level positions are usually the only option, and these jobs often pay little compared to the responsibilities women are obligated to satisfy.

A study presented about women and divorce reported these findings: One in five women drop into poverty status post-divorce.

  • One in four women do not get health insurance the first year post divorce or longer.
  • One in three women with children loses their homes post divorce.
  • A majority of divorced women receive less than their full child support amount.
  • A majority of divorced women are on multiple public welfare programs that are insufficient in meeting the needs they have to support themselves and their children.

Alleviating the damage divorce plays on finances

Seeking financial help, assessing the value of your assets and considering what you are legally entitled to is one of the wisest investments you can make to protect yourself from financial detriment after divorce. On the flip side, a hasty divorce can cost you what you could have walked away with had you sought help first. The best way to safeguard yourself from this is to have a strong legal and financial team on your side and a personal support system in place thereafter. 

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