According to a study by the Women's Legal Defense Fund, custodial parents (primarily women) suffer a 25-percent drop in income at the time of divorce. Noncustodial parents (primarily men) often experience a 35-percent increase in their standard of living after a divorce. A California study revealed worse numbers for aging women, whose standard of living drops 73 percent while their ex-husbands' rises 42 percent. Without question, your earning power is diminished; most likely, it's dropped far more than 50 percent. And you still have to maintain a household, raise your children, and work.
Divorce is a financial disaster for most families and for the economy. Almost half of all divorced fathers fail to meet their child-support payments. Only 25 percent of divorced fathers pay full child support, but even then it is far more likely that the divorced mother's — along with the children's — income has decreased substantially. Average visitation for divorced fathers is around once a month, and divorced women with minor children make up a major segment of Americans living below the poverty line. In addition, single mothers often sacrifice their own welfare — including financial — for the sake of their children.
Like it or not, a divorced, widowed, or never-married mother is a woman on her own — a woman forced to take responsibility for every aspect of her newly single life (kids or no kids). A divorced, widowed, or unpartnered mother has to deal with financial realities and make financial decisions that will affect her and her children for decades. An informed single woman must, indeed, develop the skills and the confidence to make smart decisions and gain control over her financial reality. The only way to squelch fears and insecurities is to deal with your new reality and act accordingly.
This book has been researched and written to steer you through whatever personal financial minefields you are navigating and to help you build an operational vocabulary that will give you a real leg up on handling your personal finances. Together, the chapters cover everything you need to know about the most relevant topics, and each gives you down-and-dirty tactics for making smart money decisions. This book will help you maximize your options — no matter your income — and create a financial game plan that will bolster your net worth and provide you and your children with the future you all richly deserve.
You will find this book an invaluable resource in guiding your way through the money jungle as your family and finances grow and as you meet critical financial turning points in life, like the purchase of a home or helping your children pay for their college education. If you apply this information to your finances, you will be on the way to achieving your financial goals and being able to claim financial independence in the near future, one step at a time.