Some married women in Illinois might be less likely than married men to have extensive knowledge about investment. According to a study published by UBS Global Wealth Management, 56 percent of married women do not participate in major financial planning and investment decision-making in their families. The report found that this was true of 54 percent of baby boomers and 61 percent of millennials.

According to the report, men also tended to describe themselves as knowledgeable about investing in much greater numbers than women. Fewer than 40 percent of women were breadwinners who took the lead in making financial decisions over the long term compared to more than 60 percent of men.

These statistics can have serious implications for couples who get a divorce. More than half of women who are widowed or divorced say they regret not participating in long-term financial decisions in their marriages. Secret debts and accounts are among the surprises that people may encounter. Women in second marriages tend to be more likely to be active participants in the household finances. A lack of financial knowledge may be particularly harmful to older people who are getting a divorce. Twice as many people over the age of 50 are divorcing compared to the 1990s, and individuals who have not dealt much with financial matters may have to learn about them for the first time.

Older people who going through a divorce may have to face several unique challenges. With retirement nearing, some individuals may have less time to rebuild financially than younger people who get a divorce. Couples who may have planned for retirement together might be facing leaner times on their own. If one spouse’s income has been significantly higher than what the other person earned, in addition to alimony, the lower-earning spouse might be able to draw Social Security retirement benefits on the earning record of the higher-earning individual.