When people in Florida decide to divorce, the end of a marriage can often be accompanied by a number of financial changes and surprises. Because of the extreme financial changes during this period, many divorcing spouses gain a far deeper understanding of financial difficulties and may make changes to their plans for the future. One study surveyed 1,785 divorcing or divorced women and found that nearly half experienced financial surprises during their divorces, with younger women even more likely than older participants to be shocked by marital finances.

In many cases, the surprises discovered during divorce related to marital debt. Even when couples believed they were open about finances with one another, the clarity about the extent of credit card debt, mortgage loans, car loans and other debt revealed during the divorce often came as a shock. In addition, the division of retirement accounts often led to a shift in priorities for many of the women in the survey, especially for those closer to retirement age. Many expressed that they were focusing on investment to bulk up their retirement funds.

For women who had been stay-at-home mothers and wives for many years, the return to the workforce was often a financial surprise. Many people faced setbacks in their career due to years outside the workforce, while others received lower salaries than they expected. It was also often a difficult transition process to move away from reliance on spousal support payments, and many reported that the payments ended more quickly than they realized.

During the financial changes of divorce, it can be important for a divorcing spouse to have someone working to protect his or her interests. A family law attorney might be able to work with a divorcing spouse to fully understand the scope of the financial matters involved and to advocate strongly for their client in terms of asset division, spousal support and other key issues.