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Finances for post-divorce women

Women in California who get a divorce are likely to experience reduced financial circumstances after the separation. This remains true even though an increasing number of women are advancing in their chosen careers.

The United States Government Accountability Office released a report in 2012 that showed the household income for women dropped by an average of 41 percent after a divorce. For comparison, the loss of income men experience after a divorce is closer to 20 percent.

One contributing factor to the discrepancy is that women typically receive less income than men. When one examines the average weekly earnings of men and women as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they will see that women make only 82 cents for every dollar men take home. The gap in pay is even more pronounced when factors such as job types and specific ethnic backgrounds are also considered.

Traditional gender roles are another reason for the difference in income. Women are more likely than men to take on the role of primary caregiver for the children and elderly parents. As a result, they earn less over their lifetimes. Caregiving duties typically mean spending time out of the workforce, which also leads to less Social Security benefits and fewer opportunities to save money.

The management of household finance is another issue affected by traditional gender roles. Although women are usually tasked with most of the household duties, the management of the money is handled primarily by men.

A family law attorney could help a woman resolve divorce legal issues related to finances. The lawyer may litigate and negotiate to obtain favorable settlement terms for property division, child support and alimony.