When couples seek divorce in Minnesota, many unexpected circumstances could develop. According to a recent survey of more than 1,700 adult women in various stages of the divorce process, financial issues tend to produce a lot surprises. In fact, nearly half of the females surveyed reported experiencing financial problems they didn’t anticipate. Among all respondents, women under age 55 reported experiencing more financial surprises.

Living on a single income was the most common financial challenge reported among all age groups. This was followed by the cost of divorce. Women may also be surprised at the total size of the marital debt. Even with a high-asset divorce, it’s possible to be unaware of debt obligations such as mortgages and credit card balances. Some women also fail to plan for the cost of health insurance or a return to the workforce.

Women who know the full extent of their assets and are actively involved in financial decisions tend to be better prepared for divorce. However, the survey revealed that nearly a quarter of women under 55 left financial matters to their spouses. This figure was lower for women over 55. Women in the baby boomer generation were also more likely to be concerned about planning for retirement and building investment portfolios.

A family law attorney can guide a divorcing woman through some of the more complex financial issues related to the end of marriage. If necessary, legal counsel could offer advice on potential assets a woman might not know she has available. Even among the females surveyed who were more financially prepared for divorce, more than 70 percent were unaware that an engagement ring was an asset they could use to enhance their retirement savings.