Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

What pitfalls can happen to women in a divorce?

When major life changes occur for Salt Lake City residents, major adjustments may be needed in order to deal with those changes. This is often the case when it comes to the end of a marriage, as individuals find themselves dealing with a number of changes that result in post-divorce adjustments.

While both spouses can face issues in adjusting after a divorce, the post-divorce adjustments often are faced more significantly by women. Studies have shown, for instance, that men's wages rise after a divorce, while women's wages may fall. Other women may have stayed at home with the children and delayed their professional career, which can lead to discrepancies in the finances between the man and woman after a divorce.

In light of these inequities that can result between men and women after a divorce, women should be aware of their rights. This starts with knowing all of the marital assets that are at stake in the divorce. For example, in a high asset divorce, one spouse might not be fully aware of the valuation of certain assets that are controlled by the other spouse, including business assets, inheritances or items of personal property. It is not uncommon for one individual to try to hide these assets, or at least minimize the true value of the assets, in an attempt to get an unequal division of the property.

Women should also be aware of their goals in the divorce. For example, if they would like to keep the family home, they need to not only make this a priority in the divorce process, but understand the financial implications of being awarded the home like whether they will be able to make the monthly mortgage payments.

Ultimately, each divorce is different, so certain issues that may impact a woman in one case might do the same for a man in another. The important thing is for all individuals to recognize that they have legal rights in a divorce that should be protected and enforced in order for them to properly adjust to the changes.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "How to survive divorce with your finances intact," Nov. 19, 2015

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