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American women and the so-called “divorce gap”

The above-cited reference to a “divorce gap” in today’s blog headline sounds as though it might reasonably be a bit ominous from the female perspective, doesn’t it?

To the degree to which it materializes in a given divorce, it surely is. That term -- coined in an oft-noted university study from a decade ago -- conveys stark inequity in divorce results for women generally. It posits that divorcing females typically suffer a 20%-plus loss in income following a marital split. Research relevant to males, conversely, shows their post-divorce income rising by approximately 33%.

Women potentially or actually affected by such dire statistical evidence might logically want to focus on more recent study findings, which go far toward dampening the negativity surrounding the divorce gap. New evidence shows, in fact, that increasing numbers of divorcing women fare just fine in the divorce process.

Reportedly, the key to their success is quite literal. For many of them, it opens the front door of the house that becomes their marital asset in a dissolution outcome.

For obvious reasons, home ownership is a divorce-linked big deal, with it being eminently understandable that splitting couples focus centrally upon it during divorce negotiations. Getting the deed to a paid-off home instantly promotes financial security and peace of mind.

An article in Money magazine duly stresses, though, that home ownership “can mask a lot of nuances.”

To wit: Property taxes will need to be paid. So too will insurance premiums. And no home ever built has been permanently immune from periodic maintenance projects.

Moreover, liquidity – as in readily available cash – is not something closely linked with brick-and-mortar ownership.

The bottom line: Although a home is assuredly an important asset to spotlight in the divorce process, it is not the only asset. Rather, it is best looked at as merely one source of wealth among others that also exist (hopefully), such as company-sponsored accounts, stock holdings and various savings vehicles.

Equitable property division in divorce truly does spell varied and nuanced subject matter. A divorcing party with questions or concerns regarding asset distribution might reasonably want to consult with a proven family law attorney.

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