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After divorce: Keeping the home or not

When people in North Carolina decide to divorce, it can be complex to negotiate the financial issues that arise with property division. For women in particular, divorce has been shown in a number of studies to have a wide-ranging impact on their financial future. While men’s income appears to rise an average of one-third after a divorce, women do not enjoy the same benefits. In many cases, women’s income can decline as much as 20 percent after a divorce and often never rises to its prior level.

However, another study says that divorced women can often be better off financially than single women who were never married. In particular, the study highlights homeownership as a significant factor in determining who does well after the divorce. Women who leave a marriage as homeowners are more likely to hold onto the asset according to the study. Single women who never married are less likely to be homeowners and often have fewer financial assets than those who shared in marital assets during a divorce.

Some experts warned against reading too much into the study’s results, however. Divorce lawyers said that many women focus on keeping the house after a divorce. In some cases, this could be a positive, protective step, but in other cases, they struggle financially as they cannot afford the mortgage, taxes and other property expenses comfortably. Lawyers and financial experts warned that a decision on whether to try to keep the home after a divorce must be made on the basis of each person’s circumstances rather than as a general rule.

The financial changes that come with divorce can affect nearly every avenue of life, from shared credit card debt to retirement funds. A family law attorney may advise a client on asset distribution and work hard to achieve a just settlement on a range of issues, including property division and spousal support.

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