A recent study indicates that the financial key for a divorced woman’s retirement is leaving the marriage with ownership of a house.

The study, conducted by Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, found that divorced women are better off — in terms of the assets they have amassed — than single, never-married women. This is thought to be because divorced women are more likely to own a home than never-married women.

Thus, divorcing women may want to give special consideration before agreeing to move out of the marital home as part of a divorce settlement or agreement.

Not All Experts Agree

Some financial advisors and family law attorneys believe that keeping the house is not always in either party’s best interest. Sometimes women may not have the funds to make mortgage payments, perform repairs, or pay for property taxes. Other women may have trouble getting a mortgage in their name.

In addition, some parties become laser-focused on keeping the home, overlooking larger assets of the marriage, like stock portfolios or retirement accounts. There can also be unforeseen costs when selling the home: renovations and repairs needed to make the home attractive to potential buyers, staging costs, and taxes due on capital gains. These costs should be considered when deciding the value of the home for purposes of divorce strategy and community property division.

What Is the Divorce Gap?

Experts agree that women and men who stay together in a marriage will have the best possible financial outcomes. However, that is not always possible. There is also a phenomenon among divorced women called the divorce gap, a term coined by a 2008 study to describe the finding that the income of a woman who divorces falls by more than one-fifth while a divorced man will experience an increase in income by about one-third.

Experts say that this divorce gap can be alleviated for women by careful planning, including keeping the family home when it is feasible to do so.

Contact a San Jose, CA Property Division Attorney

There are numerous other issues in your divorce that will affect your financial future. If you are worried about your financial future post-divorce, a seasoned San Jose, CA divorce lawyer can listen to your goals and situation and advise you on how best to proceed. An attorney understands these issues and what arguments can be made to convince a court of the outcome that will most benefit you. Call 408-288-5592 today for a free consultation.


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