Women are the hardest hit financially by a divorce

divorce anthony gooden incDivorce


Divorce is a very real phenomenon in South Africa, but not a topic of discussion until it becomes a reality for a couple.

On average, women are the hardest hit financially by a divorce.



A poll* surveying women on how separation and divorce affected their financial welfare, revealed the following results:


Anthony IncorporatedFinancial welfare of women after divorce

Focusing on assets alone, women lose 77% of their wealth in the first year of divorce with 27 out of 100 women facing financial destitution; whereas a male's income increases by as much as 25% if he leaves a childless marriage. Women generally receive primary custody of children, but no longer enjoy the benefit of a two-income household after separation and divorce. However, the majority of expenses remain the same after the divorce, such as housing, food, education and transport. Depending on the divorce agreement, and the regularity of the payment of maintenance, this frequently falls short, and should not be considered as income. Legislation is helping to improve the non-payment of maintenance, but to enforce this legislation, women are absent from work as they seek legal assistance and court orders for payment of maintenance. More women are working, so the financial effects of divorce are less, but still remain. Poor decisions made before, during and after a divorce can impact a woman's financial health for the rest of her life.
Every woman, regardless of her perceived financial status, and who she is divorcing, should seek the advice of a divorce attorney, a financial adviser and a tax specialist if possible. A tax specialist can ensure that the structure of a divorce order will prevent unnecessary loss of funds to tax, in particular capital gains tax (CGT). While the financial adviser can provide options that will present the best possible investment vehicle for any retirement funds owing to the wife as part of a divorce order; the most suitable life insurance for both parties to protect the financial security of any children in the event of either spouse's death; and assist in the changing of wills and beneficiaries on any other policies. Divorce is a highly charged emotional process, but if a woman can step back and make the right decisions, a divorce need not dictate her financial future forever.

*Independent poll conducted in 2010 among 50 British and American women divorced and divorcing.


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