Women: Know Your Family Finances

Women: Know Your Family Finances

6 years ago 0 933

It is not just the disparity in earning power between the sexes and the traditional custody arrangements of the mother that is the cause of women’s lower standard of living post divorce. The problem runs deeper than this, and it’s a problem I see much of the time: Women with unequal earning power possess less power in a marriage altogether. They tend not to know the family finances. If they participate in the big decisions regarding mortgages, loans, purchasing vehicles, investment planning, they do so as a companion and not a partner. By the time they make the decision to separate, they don’t have a grasp on their current financial status. They haven’t been tracking and overseeing their finances over the years at the same time that their spouses have been in control of their finances. This reality is not a diabolical happening.  Financial control defaults to the higher wage earner whose employment benefits inure to the employee by way of defined benefit plans, 401Ks, stock options, life insurance, health savings accounts and health insurance. Marital property and community property laws are fair in their intent. But they cannot make up for the lack of financial savvy on the part of lower wage earner or the stay-at-home parent who does not share equal power in a relationship compounded by a culture that has not cured workplace inequities and the duties of child rearing.