Divorced couple fighting over money
TROY HUELS

TROY HUELS

In Australia, Divorce Can Hit Women’s Finances

Divorce is never easy for anyone. Its impact on women, however, may be less understood by society. Divorce affects men and women differently. For the latter, it may take a hit on their financial stability.

Learn the financial effects of divorce on women and why it’s necessary for them to work with lawyers in Townsville.

The Problem: Finances

Research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows that divorced women with children usually find it hard to recover their income post-divorce. A significant reason is having difficulty in combing their work and rearing their children. Contrary to popular belief, family courts in Australia (and other countries) don’t immediately give the sole parenting responsibility to the mother.

It’s always in the best interest of the children. The courts also encourage parents to set aside their differences and cooperate in creating the best growing-up atmosphere for the kids. Society norms, customs and parental choices often leave the children to their mothers.

Women may already be at a disadvantage even before they divorce their partners. The same study suggests that divorced couples tend to have a lower household income and fewer assets pre-separation than those who remain married. It can then have a profound financial effect within the next six years, and during this time, the gap can widen considerably. It may even continue to old age.

Women, in general, also have to deal with the wage gap in the country. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the income disparity between men and women working full-time is 14.1%. On average, men earn $1,695.60 while women take home only $1,455.80. The gap can also vary among territories. It’s the highest in Western Australia while Queensland posted a rate of 17.3% by November 2018.

Women also need to deal with ageism, which remains prominent in Australian workplaces. The Employing Older Workers research reveals employers still prefer a certain age for jobs, although it’s already an illegal practice. About 30% of them said they wouldn’t hire women above 50 years old. About 12% of divorced women are in their 50s, according to AIFS.

Knowing Your Financial Rights

Australian money beside a calculatorConsidering your finances after divorce isn’t a selfish act. It only means you want to be able to take care of yourself and your children (if they are with you) as excellently as you can. Any monetary support can go towards helping you get back on your feet right away despite the emotional challenges.

You can request for spousal maintenance from your partner. The amount depends on factors such as your age and that of your children living with you, income or financial resources, and standard of living. It also considers how marriage affected your income ability.

You also have the right to the joint assets, but you also need to keep in mind you may need to share the debts as well.

Fighting for what you deserve can be frightening, and navigating the complex process of divorce can be overwhelming. Know you don’t have to go through this alone. You can get help from experienced lawyers.

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