Divorce is a challenging process for any West Virginia couple. A breakup can affect people for years down the road. The financial security of women can be especially vulnerable after a divorce.
Equitable distribution and liquid assets
The West Virginia family law court uses a standard of equitable distribution to divide a couple’s property. The distribution of marital property is supposed to be fair even if it is not a fifty-fifty split. This arrangement can leave one partner in a difficult financial situation in a high-asset divorce.
For example, it is not unusual for the wife to seek the marital home in the settlement, especially if they have primary child custody. However, receiving this property may mean a shortage of liquid assets to handle day-to-day expenses. Such financial insecurity is one reason women have a 27% higher risk of poverty after a divorce.
Wage and career gaps
The roles spouses play in a marriage can also have negative effects on women after divorce. The female spouse is often the designated person for childrearing in a marriage. This arrangement means that they step away from their careers for several years.
At the same time, the husband will continue moving forward in his career path. After a divorce, he will be in a better position to rebound from any financial losses. It is not unusual for men to see an increase in their standard of living following a divorce.
The need for long-term planning
Women need to consider their long-term financial well-being when preparing for a divorce. Some areas to think about include:
- A new personal budget
- Avenues for increasing income
- Education costs for a career change
- Long-range retirement needs
Although divorce is difficult, it is often necessary. Intentional financial planning can help women recover and move forward after the end of a marriage.