Me, My Money and I: Why UK Women Need to be Better Financially Prepared to Face Divorce

Women’s wealth is rising, and the autonomy and sense of ownership women feel over their wealth is also growing.

Yet there are also daunting realities: 42% of marriages now end in divorce¹. And while divorce is harrowing for everyone, women can experience an outsized effect of the financial consequences.

To better understand the attitudes and implications of women’s growing wealth we undertook a survey Me, my money and I: the growing financial autonomy of UK women – which you can read in full here.

And while this article noted a behavioural shift in the way women manage their wealth – and the potential arising from that independence – we also identified the impact divorce can have on women’s finances if they are not prepared.

Among the five key findings:

  • Less than two thirds of women were aware of their partner’s personal wealth and financial situation during a relationship

  • Only a third of divorced women expect to secure a comfortable retirement

  • Only one in four divorced women had an accurate picture of their joint finances while in a relationship

  • UK women significantly under-estimate the impact divorce can have on their finances, with one in two (48%) divorcees ranking this life event as the most detrimental on their finances

  • Almost two in five (37%) women wish they had retained greater financial independence and engagement over the course of a relationship

The report highlights the challenges and opportunities women face as they accumulate more wealth, as Netwealth’s CEO Charlotte Ransom explains: “Women’s relationship with their wealth is being rapidly redefined, as societal and economic forces add further complexity to the way in which they accumulate, manage and grow their assets.

“As a result, the traditional approach to managing finances jointly is being over-turned by a new generation of financially more autonomous females.”

Charlotte also advocates that women should do more to ensure they take control of their own financial futures – to be better prepared in the face of such a life-changing event as a divorce.

“Investing is a crucial area of personal finance that is often still perceived to be a ‘man’s game’. By failing to participate, women are significantly missing out on the opportunity to grow their investments year on year to help close the wealth gap.”

Please remember that when investing your capital is at risk.

¹ ONS Divorce Statistics, September 2018

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