I think it’s safe to say that divorce is one of the worst things to go through in life. All too often, women get screwed financially in divorces, even if both spouses have established careers.

Is it fair? No. Have we been trying for years to rebalance the scales? Absolutely. Has any progress been made? Not much.

As women, we have needed to learn how to protect ourselves from things that men don’t even have to think about. Unfortunately, divorce finances have never really been towards the top of that list (because who plans for a divorce?). Read on to learn about what you need to expect, even when you’re not expecting, a divorce.

How Much Money Are Women Losing in Divorce Cases?

LegalZoom recently explored the impact of divorce on women and how they’re automatically set up to take the brunt of financial sacrifice. They note that women already make less than men do (no surprise here), setting up a potential financial loss when properties are divided in half.

A woman’s potential earning power following a separation or divorce decreases because she’s traditionally responsible for child-rearing. In most divorce cases, children go to live with the mother, forcing them to deal with the reality of those childcare and day-to-day expenses more often than men.

Furthermore, LegalZoom notes reduced earning capacity is seldom factored into divorces, since most settlements focus on dividing marital property.

Financial Abuse Often Leads to Divorce

As Clever Girl Finance notes in their blog, women are sometimes subject to financial abuse in marriages, usually leading to divorce. In these cases, women are forced/manipulated by their husbands to not save money in their own name, therefore having no money to turn to later during life emergencies.

CGF gives three common financial abuse warning signs:

  • Denying you financial information or needs
  • Demands you quit your job
  • Forced financial actions, like signing overstocks or various properties

Don’t put yourself in this situation. As we said, no one plans for a divorce while they’re planning their wedding, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect yourself in case the worst happens. Have the conversation with your husband upfront about wanting to have your own savings account. If he is a supportive, loving spouse, he should not have a problem with this.

In case you’re already in too deep without your own savings, you can reach out to friends and family for a loan, or to save your money for you.

Try to find a support system through a counselor or support group. Even the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is available to help if you think you’re going through financial abuse.

Potential Identity Theft

Other financial hurdles could happen if your former spouse was less than trustworthy with your finances. Not all cases are like this. Regardless, the potential of your former partner using your credit cards or using your identity is always possible.

Dealing with identity theft and credit card fraud could hurt your finances for years to come.

Here at AskFlossie, we’ve stressed the importance of setting up identity theft protection services, including monitoring the credit bureaus. You can freeze your credit through TransUnion, as one step, to play it safe here.

Also, a critical step is to limit authorized users on your credit card accounts.

The Problem of Limiting Beliefs

According to Wealthy Single Mommy, Limiting beliefs are ideas that you consciously or unconsciously accept as true, and in believing it as such, it does become true. These thoughts tend to occur when you establish negative beliefs in your subconscious due to bad relationships or the pressures of social conformity.

One limiting belief that tends to creep into newly divorced women’s minds is “I will never make as much money as I did when I was married to live a comfortable life.”

In order to keep this belief from becoming a reality, you have to change the way you think. Realistically, two incomes are greater than one. That’s just math. But as a single person, you don’t need two incomes anyways!

Another limiting belief that WSM cites comes from a study from the University of Maryland that divorced women fear not having enough time to spend with their children, therefore not focusing enough on making money. In reality, this didn’t matter in the quality of how their children were raised.

One of the best ways you can deal with the woes of financial discrepancies after divorce is to find some wing women who are experiencing the same things that you are. Band together to come up with ways to fight off limiting beliefs and confide in each other when the going gets particularly rough. You also always have us!

Sign up for early access to the AskFlossie community to get the support you need. We’ll be back in Part 2 to discuss other financial circumstances women go through after ending a marriage or relationship.