Divorce and Unemployement

Posted by Lauren S. CohenMar 09, 20160 Comments

Adjusting to one's new financial situation after a divorce has its challenges. It can be particularly tough when one doesn't have a steady job.

Unemployment is something that quite a few people in the United States have faced over the past several years, given the economic struggles the nation has gone through over this period. Some demographics have particularly struggled with unemployment. For example, data points to women over 50 having particularly high long-term unemployment likelihood. So, being unemployed when going through a divorce is a situation that is well within the realm of possibility. 

When divorcing when unemployed, the finance-related actions one takes can be particularly impactful, given the highly fragile condition a person's finances could potentially be in at the time. So, there are various things it can be quite important to give careful thought to and closely focus on when divorcing when unemployed, or at high risk of becoming unemployed, including:

  • Property division: There are many different ways marital property could end up being divided in a divorce. When unemployed, it can be important, when dealing with property division matters, to think about what effects different types of property divisions would have on one's ability to stay financially afloat until one can find steady work. 
  • Alimony: Spousal maintenance payments can be very helpful financial relief for divorced individuals who are struggling to find regular work. However, not every divorcing individual is entitled to alimony and getting an alimony award can have a variety of challenges attached to it. Divorce lawyers can help divorcing individuals understand if alimony is a realistic possibility for them and guide them through the process of asking for alimony, if that is a route they decide to pursue. 
  • What funds to draw on to support oneself after the divorce: What types of funds a person draws on to help cover expenses while unemployed could have some long-lasting ramifications. For example, drawing on retirement funds early for this purpose could weaken a person's preparedness for their future retirement. Failing to take potential future implications into account when deciding what funds to draw on could lead to person falling into some pretty big financial pitfalls. 

Source: Forbes, “4 Ways Divorcing Women Over 50 Can Avoid Long-Term Unemployment,” Jeff Landers, Feb. 23, 2016