The cost of health insurance, a forced return to the workforce and the temporary nature of alimony may be among the financial surprises in store for some women who get a divorce in North Carolina. In a survey conducted by the online marketplace Worthy, 46 percent of divorced women reported a financial surprise during the divorce process.

Some women were unaware of the extent of debt they and their exes have incurred. This debt might include the mortgage, auto loans, credit card debts and more. Others were surprised at what a divorce cost or thought they would be able to hold onto the family home but could not. Some women were unprepared for these revelations because their husbands had made most of the financial decisions. This was the arrangement reported by 23 percent of women in the 18-to-54 age group and 18 percent of women in the 55 and older age group.

Whatever their participation was during the marriage, it is important for women to be aware of the marital finances heading into the divorce, including what the shared assets and the individual and shared expenses are. Having this information may help women cope with the No. 1 fear of divorcing women, which is how they will be able to get by on a single income.

How property is divided can be an important element in how financially secure women are after the divorce has become final. For example, some women may want to keep the marital home for sentimental reasons and because they feel it reduces the amount of upheaval for their children. However, if they are unable to afford costs like upkeep and insurance, keeping the home could leave them struggling financially. A better choice might be a portion of the retirement account because that could give them a base from which to continue saving for retirement as well as a greater chance of future financial stability.