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How women can avoid financial surprises in divorce

| Jul 23, 2018 | Divorce |

Some women in Texas who are getting a divorce might be unprepared to deal with the financial ramifications. A survey conducted by Worthy, an online marketplace, found that 46 percent of women said they had encountered unpleasant financial surprises in divorce.

Typical surprises for women in divorce include not realizing that alimony may be temporary, expecting child support to last longer and expecting to be able to keep the home. Women may be surprised by the cost of health insurance and of divorce. If they have been out of the workplace, they might not realize they will have to return. They may also be unaware of the extent of the marital debt including auto financing, student loans, the mortgage and the home equity line of credit.

In some cases, these surprises happen because the women were not involved in family financial decisions. The survey found that 18 percent of women older than 54 and 23 percent of women 54 and younger had allowed their husbands to make most financial decisions. However, it is critical in a divorce for women to know what the household assets are as well as their own expenses. Many women reported concern about how they would live on a single income after divorce followed by worry about what the divorce would cost.

Since Texas is a community property state, most assets the couple has acquired since the marriage are considered shared property, and they are supposed to divide them 50/50. However, in practice, couples may negotiate an arrangement that allows them to each take assets that are of roughly equal value. Women should be sure they understand the ramifications of keeping certain assets. For example, there are expenses associated with keeping the home in addition to the mortgage such as upkeep, property taxes and insurance.

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