Because of the fragile economy, divorce in the US is also undergoing a different dynamic. Aside from fighting on who gets the kids, another issue is ‘who pays the debt?’. And it has affected women more than men.
A study by University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project show that for the past four years, divorce rates have followed the ups and downs of the US economy. In 2008, the divorce rate went down 24% and in 2009, 57%. Now that the economy is on a mild upswing, the divorce rate is also going up. But this increase also brings up the financial issue to the forefront.
According to Chris Bixby of Key Private Bank, the three of the top five causes of divorce are financial. These are job loss, housing problems, and credit card debt.
Divorce coach, Lee Block says that many of her clients are now trying to work their marriage out. And it is not because of love. They can’t afford to get divorced.
Block also has noticed that there are women who do not know how to manage money. “I see women who don’t know how to pay a bill, and it shocks me. They’re in their 50s and 60s and don’t know how to write a check, or get their own credit cards, or start a bank account. They’ve been taken care of their whole lives by their husbands.”
According to experts, a large number of women are having difficulty managing their finances after coming out of a divorce. Most lack basic money management skills to effectively acclimate to the single life.
There are exceptions though, Carol Meerschaert of Paoli, Pennsylvania divorced 10 years ago. Her kids were aged 7,10, and 14. She moved to a smaller home, paid her own mortgage and managed to fund the college tuition of her eldest daughter.
She never lost her house and even got to get an MBA herself.
It is suggested that during divorce proceedings, it is best to involve a financial planner/adviser to objectively lay out the scenario that the divorcing couple is facing.
Given the observations, women nowadays, married or divorced, must teach themselves to at least have the basic financial skills. Whether it is a divorce or the death of the spouse, they will eventually face the task of managing family financially.
Filipino. Aside from being a Brand Manager, Jonathan also writes for AdEdge,the trade magazine of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA). He was also a headwriter for a political TV show as well as TV segment producer.divorce rate > don rsquo