Women in New Jersey who have gone through a divorce should reconsider how they handle their finances. The household income of a divorced woman drops an average of 41 percent according to information from a 2012 report by the United States Government Accountability Office. This is nearly two times the loss of income a man will sustain after a separation.
A divorce tends to be more financially devastating for women because they generally receive less income than men. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that according to average weekly income data, women earn only 82 cents for each dollar men make.
Another reason women experience reduced financial circumstances after a divorce is the perpetuation of traditional gender roles. Women typically assume the role of caregiver for children and aging parents or relatives. The demands associated with caregiving are significant factors in the lower lifetime earnings women receive. The time that women have to spend away from the workforce to act as caretaker results in fewer working hours, which is directly associated with reduced Social Security benefits and fewer opportunities to save money.
Another impact of traditional gender roles is that although women were mainly responsible for household duties, they typically never managed the household’s finances. The management of the money was traditionally assigned to the husband. Women who divorce an income-earning spouse who managed the household finances are compelled to change how they treat their finances after a divorce.
A family law attorney may assist clients during divorce proceedings by advocating on their behalf. The attorney may work to protect the rights and interests of a client while working to obtain settlement terms that are in line with a client’s financial goals after a divorce.