When you are facing divorce, especially if you are a parent, you may worry about how your split will impact you financially. Often, women facing divorce are surprised when they realize they end up with fewer assets than they thought or spousal support that ends sooner than expected.

Five challenges women experience during divorce include the following:

  1. Not having a strong understanding of their marital debts vs. assets. Many women underestimate how much mortgage debt they and their spouse share on the family home or in credit card debt. These debts will negate other assets the couple shares in a divorce.
  2. Not earning enough money to afford to live without their spouse. In 2020, women earn, on average, 19% less than men their age. That gap may be even higher if you took time off from your career to raise your children.
  3. Keeping the marital home. You may want to keep the marital home so that your children don’t face another big adjustment after the divorce. However, your spouse will receive a share of your home’s value. Most likely, you will need to refinance the home to pay your spouse his share, and you still may not be able to cover mortgage and upkeep costs on your own.
  4. Having to re-enter the workforce. If you’ve been a stay-at-home parent raising young children, you may need to re-enter the workforce to afford to live on your own. You may need additional training or education to find a good job.
  5. Underestimating how much it costs to get divorced. You know you’ll need a good divorce attorney, but you may not realize that you may need to pay for valuations of your home or a family business before the divorce. You also may not realize that by utilizing divorce mediation you can save money on your divorce and resolve it more quickly.

The more women are aware of their financial situation heading into a divorce, the better. You want to determine which assets you are willing to let go and what’s truly important for you to keep. You also want to get an early idea of what your post-divorce budget looks like, so you can adjust to that sooner rather than later.