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Divorced women and financial security in retirement

Being financially secure during retirement is a major concern for many women who get divorced. According to the results of a 2008 study, women divorcees are hit with a sustained drop in income of over 20 percent on average while their ex-husbands are likely to experience an income increase of nearly 33 percent.

According to a study that was conducted by the Center for Retirement Research, however, a typical divorced woman's long-term financial state will be in a better condition than what individuals may be led to believe. The reason for this is homeownership.

The results indicated that because divorced women accumulate assets in order to prepare for a divorce, they tend to fare better than single women who have never been married before. Homeownership is believed to be the most critical factor because single, divorced women have a higher likelihood of owning a home.

While getting the home in a divorce may seem to be the most ideal outcome, many financial advisors and divorce attorneys have female clients who are unable to afford the related costs, such as the mortgage, property taxes, maintenance expenses and bills associated with unexpected emergencies. There are also situations in which keeping the home is not the most financially sound move, particularly if there is another significant asset that can be obtained in the divorce.

Individuals seeking a divorce may consult with a divorce attorney regarding which legal avenues should be pursued to obtain assets that can provide financial security during retirement. The attorney could use litigation to help ensure that favorable settlement terms are obtained regarding the division of real estate, retirement funds, savings accounts and other types of assets that have a significantly high value.

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