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Why married people should prepare for divorce

Many Texas residents might feel financially secure in the present and even have confidence in their plans for the future, but a TD Ameritrade survey has found that divorced and widowed Americans face more financial challenges than their married counterparts. Additionally, a majority of married individuals do not have a plan in place for their finances in case of divorce or widowhood.

The online survey included 2,019 individuals, of which 1,011 were married, 308 divorced and 496 were single and had never been married. The reported annual personal income of $61,700 for married individuals was $13,100 more than that of widowed individuals and $9,800 more than divorced individuals. But a majority of married men and women felt they could handle the financial challenges a divorce or widowhood could bring. However, the same study found that 47 percent of divorcees were not regularly saving or investing and that only 41 percent of divorcees expect to fully retire. Even more concerning, only three in 10 divorcees expected to feel financially secure during retirement, with 49 percent worrying about money running out during retirement.

Experts recommend that all married individuals include financial planning in case of a divorce or widowhood because both can bring unexpected financial challenges that might make life much more difficult. Particularly as people get older and retirement age gets closer, married individuals should become familiar with all of their financial assets and liabilities. If possible, they should also establish different income sources so that they can better face the challenges a potential divorce or becoming widowed can bring.

Even if a person did not plan financially for a divorce when they were first married, they can do some planning for post-divorce life during the divorce process. For this, they might benefit from the experience of a lawyer who can guide them through the process, including the settlement negotiations, which can impact financial health after the break-up.

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