La'Rae H. Hendrix P.A.

Family law: Married women must participate in family finances

A trend in divorce law in Florida and other states is becoming apparent. A report released by a global wealth management company confirms a general perception that about 56 percent of married women leave financial planning tasks to their husbands. The result is that they are at a disadvantage in the event of a separation and divorce. Given that middle-age divorces have doubled in past several decades, the effect on divorce settlements in the family law arena has been significant and many divorced women today may be suffering the consequences.

The reports that have verified this phenomenon have had the effect of accentuating how important it is for women to take a more proactive role during marriage with respect to investing and retirement planning. According to Bloomberg, the trend exists also in younger marriages. About 61 percent of millennial women  also leave investment decisions to their husbands. In accordance with current cultural changes, women who have gone through the process regret not taking a larger role in their marital finances.

Women who have suffered the negative impact of financial abdication generally advise their younger counterparts to get more actively engaged in their finances during marriage. Women find that after the separation, it is easier for their ex-spouses to take advantage of them by virtue of the men having total control over the financial records and the contents of those records. In some cases, men may make advantageous changes before the wife discovers anything about it.

Florida is sensitive to the problem given its large middle-aged and elderly population. Bloomberg adds that there are other surprising issues that exist in family law processes between divorcing individuals, including hidden accounts, hidden debt and secret spending by one spouse. With women's rights issues being at the forefront of current societal changes, encouragement of female financial activism is a worthy pursuit. 

Source:, "Many Women Leave Financial Decisions To Husbands, Leaving Them Vulnerable", April 16, 2018

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