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Divorce improves financial awareness for high-income women

A survey from a financial consulting firm suggests that many high-net-worth women believe that they are better off financially after their divorce than they were going into the process. When asked, 62 percent of women with a net worth of $1 million or more feel that their divorce improved their financial standing. More surprising: the improvement is not solely one of financial gain from the dissolution of the marriage.

The perceived improvement among high-income women is a betterment of their financial literacy skills. This increase in knowledge is often the result of having to address their finances so thoroughly during the divorce process. Once the dust settles, many women, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, feel that they are better money and investment managers for having gone through the process.

Not all women will benefit from their divorce proceedings. Data from the survey shows that for women with less than $1 million in net worth, few financial gains are made, even in regard to simple gains in financial awareness. In fact, women who are not financially well off tend to live in poverty immediately following their divorce at a rate twice that of divorced men.

The survey may show that many Pennsylvania women who have the means to assume responsibility for their finances tend to do so following divorce. Those who are struggling financially will often continue to do so after divorce. For some, the divorce itself will lead to a whole new set of financial difficulties.

There can be no doubt that the end of a marriage will have financial implications for both spouses. While women have made significant gains within the workforce in recent decades, it is often the case that they will suffer financially when a marriage ends. No matter what your net worth, going into a divorce with a full understanding of your financial health is the first step in ensuring a positive financial future. In addition, taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about your assets -- and how to best protect and increase them -- is a smart move during divorce, no matter what your financial standing.

Source: businessinsider.com, "High-Income Women Typically Gain A Lot From Divorce," Emily Levy, July 11, 2012

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