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Divorcing women: Be aware of the financial wellness gender gap

Divorce-related guidance is rarely gender specific. Most of the time, both men and women have the same kinds of questions about the divorce process and these questions can be answered without any gender specific considerations. However, there is one truly significant divorce-related reality that affects women in particular. It is vitally important that women educate themselves in regards to this reality and then have a discussion with their family law attorneys about the ways in which this reality may be affecting their divorce process.

The fact that a gender specific pay gap affects women in America is well known. What is less well known is that a financial wellness gap affects women in America as well. This gap is not insignificant and can play a particularly prominent role in the ways in which divorce settlements are structured. Generally, this larger financial wellbeing gap refers to both a gap in retirement, healthcare and general life savings and a gap in confidence related to investment and money management.

According to Forbes, approximately two-thirds of American caregivers are women. It is perhaps not surprising then that women generally tend to be more concerned with tending to the needs of others as opposed to tending to their own needs. This approach, in and of itself, is not necessarily a negative thing. Many rewards often accompany both caregiving and a relatively selfless approach. However, when this approach leads to a significant financial wellness gap, the approach can compromise not only a woman's divorce settlement but also her ability to care for both herself and others in the wake of a divorce.

If you are female and are at all curious or concerned about the ways in which the financial wellness gap may be affecting your divorce, please discuss your concerns with your attorney. Your attorney may provide you with advice and guidance on any number of subjects. It is likely that you will need to revisit the ways in which your proposed divorce settlement addresses retirement funds and your financial stability for the near future. No matter how you process this information, knowing that a gap exists and that you may be affected by it can really only inspire positive consequences.

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