Did you know that single women comprise almost 40% of all bankruptcy filings? Women often have lower incomes, and after divorce, bear more costs of child-care than men. Women are also more likely to be the ones caring for aging parents. Single moms still have most of the costs of a married couple, but are forced to do it all on just one income.
A lot of mothers, especially those with young children, either do not work outside the home, work-part time, or help their husbands out in business. Therefore, after a divorce or break-up, single mothers often are less employable or have lower earning capacity. Also, with children in the home, and other demands on their time, mothers often push aside financial management issues. Raising child support payments does not help. The increased costs of raising children usually outpaces any increase in child support awards. The reality is, after a divorce, two households must be supported on what used to support one household and filing bankruptcy is a way to cope with the new reality.
So, sometimes bankruptcy may be a woman’s best or only solution. If you feel that filing bankruptcy might be your best choice, you should consult a bankruptcy lawyer who can help you decide.
Meanwhile, if you feel you’re on the brink of a divorce or a break-up, you should act now to protect yourself:
- Get smart about finances. If you’re not on top of your finances or you always let him handle everything, now is the time to figure out where your assets are.
- Divide your debts if possible. Cancel all joint credit cards and other joint debts and try to establish your own credit.
- Claim your assets. Make sure your name is on the title to the house and on all investment and savings accounts.
- Invest time in your career. Put yourself in the best position career wise to handle the decreased income that results from a divorce.
- Start scaling back your expenses. If you’re getting divorced, you will need to live on 50% of what you’re used to living on, so try and figure out what you can do to cut expenses.
- Get financial and bankruptcy counseling . Depending on your circumstances, you may not need to file bankruptcy if you can live within your means. A bankruptcy lawyer is an excellent person to tell you about your legal rights and guide you to a reputable non-profit credit counseling agency. Take advantage of our free no-obligation consultation at the Law Offices of Catherine E. Finnerty if you have any questions.