Gender roles within marriages have changed over the past few decades. Gone are the days of expecting wives to do the cleaning and child care while their husbands bring home the bacon. Despite major cultural shifts, however, many couples today still fall into old ways of managing marital finances.
Every couple has the right to define their own relationship, including control over cash flow, but one study has found a thought-provoking trend among married heterosexual couples. Researchers learned that over half of surveyed wives entrust their husbands with most financial decisions.
The findings suggest that the wives who make this choice do so because they believe that their husbands are better equipped to strategize and invest. In some ways, this may be true; men often grow up learning about financial matters due to lingering gender roles. However, women can – and do – learn how to manage their money well when the need arises.
Although this choice may work well during marriage, women who seek divorce could face extra difficulties both during and after the process.
Of these women, those who have been married to their husbands since starting adulthood might have little experience managing lifetime finances such as retirement or insurance. They might also have a very limited scope of their current debt and assets. In addition, this situation can allow husbands to hide funds and property from their wives, which leads to unfair divorce outcomes.
Divorcing women who had chosen to relinquish control over finances will face the challenge of learning how to budget, invest and save money once separated from their spouse. This challenge can easily cause anxiety over how the divorce may change their lifestyle.
Luckily, women do not have to face this issue alone. An experienced lawyer can guide women in this situation through the property division process to make sure that the settlement is as beneficial to them as possible.