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Stay informed — don’t let financial surprises upset your divorce

Financial surprises are rarely good news. Rather than waking up and learning that they have won the lottery, most people are met with unexpected money issues that will have a negative impact on their daily lives. Unfortunately, divorce can bring about many of these unwelcome surprises if Massachusetts divorcees — particularly women — are not prepared.

A jewelry seller surveyed 1,785 women of various ages who were in three different stages of life. These included those who were getting ready to file for divorce, those who in the middle of the process and those who had already finalized their divorces. Of that group, 22 percent were over the age of 55, most of whom were divorced. These women described facing significant financial surprises that they felt unprepared to handle.

Some of the surprises involved the financial state of the marriage, including how much debt the couple had taken on. Many had no idea how much they owed on credit cards or auto loans, or how much was saved in retirement accounts. Other unexpected turns involved life after divorce, including health care and housing costs, and the likelihood that they would have to re enter the workforce.

Understanding the current financial situation and future costs is essential for anyone going through a divorce. This information allows individuals in Massachusetts to make better, more informed decisions during asset division. Instead of blindly insisting that they keep the home or other asset with costly upkeep, divorcees can carefully weigh their options before reaching an agreement that works in everyone’s best interests.

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