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Nasty financial issues often surprise divorcing women

According to a recent online marketplace survey by Worthy, 46 percent of divorced or soon-to-be divorced women face financial surprises during the separation process. Ex-wives in Pennsylvania may be taken aback by certain circumstances, including the need to go back to work, the high cost of health insurance and the price of the divorce itself.

In order to put their results into context, the survey takers at Worthy also asked women what their financial roles were during marriage. A minority of women, 23 percent of younger and 18 percent of older, abdicated financial control to their spouses. This could explain why many women are surprised by their new financial responsibilities once divorced. Women who share financial control with their spouses may have less fear about a future after marriage.

The primary fears for women going through divorce were having to live on a single income and the costs of divorce proceedings themselves. When divided between those younger and older than 55, however, those fears shifted. Older women were more than twice as likely to be materially concerned about their retirement than younger women. Older women were also more likely to focus on building their investment portfolios.

In a high-asset divorce, both men and women can protect their rights and financial interests by seeking legal counsel. Division of assets, alimony, child support and other decisions made in negotiations or in front of a judge can have a big impact on each person's future. To avoid surprises, each party should carefully evaluate their financial situation and consider all available options.

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