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Study examines financial stability after divorce

Some people in Virginia may face a greater sense of financial uncertainty after divorce. A study conducted by Head Solutions Group for TD Ameritrade found that the annual personal income of married people was nearly $10,000 higher than that of divorced people.

Divorced people also tended to anticipate financial instability throughout their lives more than married people. Just 25 percent of divorced people said they felt financially secure while 43 percent of married people did. Only one-third of married people said their take-home pay was not saved or invested compared to 47 percent of divorced people. Just 30 percent of divorced people anticipated a financially secure retirement compared to 52 percent of married people. Only 38 percent of married people said they were worried they would run out of money during retirement, but almost half of divorced people did.

Marriages end in divorce at a rate of about 4 in every 10. Despite this, 65 percent of people who are married said they had not planned for divorce or widowhood. Furthermore, more than 60 percent of women and more than 70 percent of men said they were confident they would be able to handle the financial situation if they got a divorce.

Unfortunately, divorce may lead to a severe drop in a standard of living for some people. There are a number of reasons this may happen. Living alone is more expensive than living with another person. Paying spousal or child support could create a financial burden for one person while another person might struggle if an ex-spouse is ordered to pay support but does not. Older people who are close to retirement may see their retirement savings cut in half with little time left to replenish them. For these reasons, it is important for people to think about how to protect themselves financially in divorce negotiations.

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