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Lack of financial knowledge may complicate a divorce

People over 50 are twice as likely to get divorced than they were in the 1990s, and this could lead to financial problems for people in Texas who have not been active participants in the household finances. According to a report published by UBS Global Wealth Management, 56 percent of married women allow their spouses to make major financial and investment decisions.

This statistic does not appear to be generational. The study found that 54 percent of baby boomer women and 61 percent of millennial women allow their husbands to make the investment decisions. Twice as many men as women described themselves as very knowledgeable about investing while 75 percent of women said they knew little about investing. Combined with a divorce late in life, this lack of understanding about finances can result in financial stress for women after divorce. Over half of women who were widowed or divorced said they wished they had learned more about finance during their marriages. Remarried women tend to become more involved with marital finances.

Among the unpleasant surprises that turned up for some people during a divorce were secret debts or spending and wills that were out of date. Not all surprises were unwelcome. In some cases, people found out about assets such as 401(k) accounts.

A high-asset divorce may provide more opportunities for a person who manages the finances to hide assets. For example, a person could use offshore accounts or shell companies. An individual who believes his or her spouse is attempting to conceal assets may want to discuss the situation with an attorney. However, even if no assets are hidden, the process of property division can be complex, and it can be important for the person who has been less involved in the marital finances to get a better understanding in order to ensure financial security after the divorce.

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