THE EFFECT OF DIVORCE ON A WOMAN'S FINANCIAL FUTURE
Divorce has many financial impacts on a family and is a problem that many women find pretty much unsolvable. Trying to maintain the same lifestyle, giving the kids everything they need, paying bills and even finding employment can have a terrible impact on your finances following a divorce.
All of this is true for a large number of women, regardless of age, income or motherhood. Financial hardship after divorce is simply a fact of life for many Australian women, particularly when you have spent years raising your children and have lost track of your career.
You can’t even rely on your superannuation in later years, because with no form of employment, your super has been unfunded for years. In fact, even without divorce, most women retire with half the super compared to men, so if you don’t own your own home outright when you retire, you can enter a never-ending cycle of financial hardship.
Then along comes divorce and you need to find a job that usually pays less compared to a man, and you need to put a roof over the kid’s heads, pay all the bills, and the list goes on.
Managing your finances after divorce
Of course, if you knew in advance that divorce was in your future, you might have put a few financial safeguards in place, but hindsight is always a pain, isn’t it? As many divorced women will tell you, losing your home and splitting all your assets leaves you in a financial trap, because you don’t have enough money to buy a house – half a house yes, but not a whole house.
Saving for a deposit can take a lifetime and even if you walk away with enough money for a decent deposit, a single person trying to pay a mortgage on one income is just about impossible. That’s not even thinking about taking on a 30-year mortgage at your age, because if your super won’t pay off your mortgage when you retire, making the repayments on a pension is just about impossible.
Taking control of your finances after divorce
Your first step is to know the value of your assets, how much child support you will be receiving and how much of your partner’s superannuation you will be able to access on retirement. Once all the debts from the marriage have been paid, you will know the state of your financial affairs - even if you haven’t paid much attention to the family’s finances during your marriage.
At this point, you need to find a financial adviser who can sit down with you and take stock of your financial position, including any unpaid debts, insurances, assets, investments and your superannuation. Even women who are single can benefit from a financial adviser, as well as women in a solid relationship or marriage, because illness or bereavement can occur suddenly, leaving many married women in financial hardship. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are single, married, divorced or widowed, all Australian women can benefit from talking to someone who understands their situation and knows how to help secure your financial future.