LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) Divorce can be devastating: not only emotionally, but financially.

Financial planner Crystal Oculee said women in particular need to shore up their finances as they go through divorce proceedings, especially if they have put their career on hold to raise a family.

Women’s wages, studies have shown, often fall after a divorce, while men’s wages rise.

Oculee’s three tips for women filing for divorce include knowing her family’s income, expenses and budgets; taking an inventory of marital assets, including houses and investments; and talking to a divorce attorney to review options, including alimony.

Nonetheless,  a lifestyle change may be in order.

“Let’s say she’s used to a lifestyle where it costs her five thousand dollars a month to live,” Oculee said. “Well she’s getting $1500 for alimony, now what? She has to go get a job.”

If the proceedings are especially nasty, Oculee said it’s wise to keep an eye on your assets, since in some cases people have hid assets from their partners in the course of a divorce.

Oculee also advises that if you want to keep the house, make sure you can afford the mortgage and upkeep. Sometimes, taking on roommates can help offset those costs. In some cases, it is wise to sell the house and move into something more affordable.

As for preventing many of these troubles? Oculee recommends communicating openly with your partner about finances before you say, “I do.”

“Even if you live together happily every after, one of the biggest fights that couples have is about finances,” she said. “Most of it is because of a lack of communication.”



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