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Divorce often takes a heavy financial toll on women

Going through a divorce often leaves working women in Illinois and around the country in precarious financial situations. When researchers from the London School of Economics looked into the effect that ending a marriage has on how much spouses earn, they discovered that working wives saw their incomes drop by about 20% following a divorce. Men, on the other hand, brought home approximately 30% more after their divorces were finalized.

Figures like this contribute to poverty rates among divorced women that are three times higher than the rates among men who have divorced. Women also have longer life expectancies than men, which means they must be even more frugal than their former husbands during their retirement years. This is why divorcing wives should approach property division and spousal support negotiations pragmatically and prepare for them thoroughly.

Not all of the news for divorced women is bad. Nonworking souses who divorce after 10 or more years of marriage are entitled to Social Security benefits based on their working spouse's contributions, and they may begin to receive these benefits even if their former spouse is still working. However, recent changes to the nation's tax laws dealt nonworking spouses a blow as alimony is now considered taxable income and can no longer be deducted as an expense by spouses who pay it.

Experienced family law attorneys may advocate during divorce negotiations on behalf of spouses who could be left financially vulnerable, and they may take steps to ensure that assets are not being concealed during property division talks. Attorneys might check social media activity and consult with forensic accountants and investment managers when they suspect negotiations are not being conducted in good faith, and they may also call on financial planners and retirement experts to help spouses develop post-divorce budgets.

Source: Forbes, How The Tax Laws For Divorce Will Turn Upside Down In 2019, Dean Hedeker, Dec. 4, 2018

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