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Financial concerns for women during divorce

Women and men are equal under the law, but that doesn't mean they have the same concerns, and that doesn't mean they're always treated equally by society. In some situations, one or the other sex has the advantage. When it comes to financial issues, women often face more challenges than their male counterparts -- this is true especially after getting a divorce.

Financially speaking, divorce tends to affect women more negatively than it does men. In fact, marriage brings various financial advantages to women. Married females tend to have a 20 percent higher income than never-married, widowed, separated and divorced females. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Married women also earn almost 10 percent more than unmarried men.

Following divorce, though, women experienced a drop in household income of an average of 41 percent. This is double the loss of income experienced by men who divorce. Why is this so?

Part of the reason is because women tend to earn 82 cents on the dollar compared to the earnings of men in similar positions. Here's a breakdown for 2017:

  • White men received a median income of $977 per week
  • White women received a median income of $790 per week
  • Black women received a median income of $645 per week

Different jobs showed different levels of disparity, but the picture is clear: Women earn less than men, so when they get divorced, they lose out on the boost to their income received through partnering with a higher-earning spouse. There's also the fact that women lose out on a lot of career opportunities when they take time away from their careers in order to take care of children -- as women tend to be the default caregivers of children in many relationships. This means that women will receive Social Security benefits later on down the road.

The point of this article is to remind women that life after divorce may not always be rosy financially. As such, women should take control of their finances and be disciplined to save and grow their careers immediately following a divorce. They may also want to take legal steps during their divorce proceedings to ensure they are fairly treated during the asset division process.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Why Women Should Rethink Their Finances After Divorce," Stacy Rapacon, accessed March 28, 2018

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