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Marital debt and other surprises that may arise in divorce

Women in Texas who are getting a divorce might be unprepared for the financial side of things if they have not been participating in the family finances. The online marketplace Worthy conducted a survey in which it found that almost half of divorced women faced financial surprises in divorce. Almost a quarter of women 54 and younger said they had left financial decisions to their husbands while 18 percent of women 55 and older reported the same.

The types of financial surprises that women encounter in divorce include thinking child support and alimony will last longer, not expecting to have to work outside the home and assuming they will keep the family home. Some are also surprised by the cost of divorce and the price of health insurance. Some are unaware until the divorce of the family's debt load including credit card debt, student loans, the mortgage and auto loans.

The best way for women to be better prepared for divorce is to participate in the family finances throughout the marriage, and women who are headed for divorce need to learn what the marital assets are as well as joint and individual expenses. Getting a handle on these may help women deal with what they report as their biggest fear in a divorce, living on one income.

It is also important to people's financial well-being after divorce that they protect their rights during the process of property division. Texas community property law means that most assets are considered marital assets, but this does not mean couples have to divide all assets in half. For example, one spouse might take a retirement account and the other might keep the home, but it is important to understand the ramifications of this kind of split. There may be penalties associated with withdrawals from the retirement account while upkeep of the home could be costly.

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