Some women in Texas may be among the more than 50 percent of wives who say they let their husbands make major decisions about financial planning and investments. While either spouse may be unprepared in terms of financial knowledge in a divorce, this happens disproportionately to women. Furthermore, it does not seem to be age-based. A report by UBS Global Wealth Management found that more millennial women, 61 percent, said they were content leaving financial decision-making with their husbands than baby boomer women at 54 percent.
When combined with a rising divorce rate for people over 50, which has doubled since the 1990s, this can lead to financial hardship after divorce. People who have spent the bulk of their adult lives not making major financial decisions may suddenly find they have to do so when they get a divorce. The report found that 59 percent of women who were divorced or widowed regretted not getting more involved in the household finances.
Not knowing much about household finances can lead to unpleasant surprises when finances are revealed. These include outdated wills and hidden debt, accounts and spending. In other cases, the surprises were pleasant, such as finding out about a retirement plan. In all, 56 percent of divorced and widowed woman said there were unexpected financial revelations.
Both women and men may find themselves in the position of knowing too little about the family finances in a divorce. Therefore, the first step for a person considering divorce might be to collect financial documents, such as tax returns and investment information, and consult an attorney about financial divorce matters. If one person has been the main breadwinner, he or she might be required to pay alimony to the other person. However, people should take steps to protect themselves financially and not assume that alimony will take care of their financial security after divorce.