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Women are often financially surprised, crippled by divorce

A study published by Worthy Living during the final week in July captures how nearly half of all women who get divorced end up being financially surprised as they look to settle their divorces. These surprises aren't the good type of ones either. Instead, they're ones that leave women financially blindsided or crippled.

The researchers polled just under 1,800 women. Each was either seriously considering filing for divorce or in the midst of negotiating a settlement. At least 22 percent of those had settled their divorces and were age 55 or over.

When asked whether they'd been financially surprised by their divorce, 38 percent of those age 55 or older age said that they had. The younger respondents suggested that they'd been surprised in 50 percent of all cases.

Women who divorced reported being blindsided by the sheer amount of debt that has been racked up by them or their spouse. They reported being unaware of how high the credit card debt was or how much car or mortgage loan installments were. They also were apparently kept in the dark about how high student or 401(k) loan debt was or how much monthly home equity line payments were.

Many of the women admitted that by not realizing how high the debts were, they often were shocked when they heard that they wouldn't be able to stay in their marital home. Many were even more shocked when they discovered that they'd have to take a job to cover the existing debts and their everyday household bills.

Some women polled admitted being surprised upon finding out that they qualified for less spousal or child support than they may have expected or that they'd received it for a shorter period of time. Others didn't realize how costly paying their half of health insurance premiums or medical costs would be either.

Most younger women polled admitted that their surprises resulted from them allowing their spouse to control the household finances. Only 18 percent of women 55 and older did this.

Women who haven't been involved in managing their household's finances may be at a disadvantage if they file for divorce without a financial plan in place for covering their expenses. Taking time to consult with a Kissimmee attorney can ensure that your interests are protected at such a critical time.

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