Although the divorce rate across the nation remains at about 50 percent, many Illinois divorcees are not aware of just how much of an impact divorce could have on their finances. For women, in particular, the financial surprises can be particularly difficult to deal with once the divorce is finalized.

A study surveyed more than 1,700 women who were in different stages of divorce, which ranged from preparing for divorce, in the midst of the divorce process and those who had finalized their divorce. Thirty-eight percent of the participants who were over the age of 55 said that they experienced financial surprises, and approximately half of the participants who were under the age of 55 said that they experienced financial surprises.

There are generally six financial surprises that divorcing and divorced women may experience. These surprises include not knowing the full amount of marital debt for which they may suddenly become responsible. Some women may not anticipate that they will have to return to the workforce to make ends meet, especially if the amount of alimony or child support to which they are entitled is not as much as they expected. Further, some people may underestimate the cost of health insurance or the divorce itself, which can set them back financially even more.

Deciding to end a marriage can be difficult for all the parties involved, especially if the former spouses are not aware of all the process entails and the compromises they may have to make before the divorce is finalized. A family law attorney may walk a person through the implications of keeping certain assets, like the family home. A lawyer may also help a person determine to what he or she may be entitled when it comes to spousal support and child support.