There is little doubt that divorce is one of the most difficult life situations for men and women — but you may be surprised to learn that women face more financial hardship in the wake of a breakup. High asset divorce can lead to a massive loss in income and savings for women, wreaking havoc on their financial health. No matter the value of the divorce, women are more likely to suffer from money woes.

Why does divorce cause such a disproportionate amount of hardship for women? Most importantly, women are more likely to take a career break during their marriage when compared to their male counterparts. They often interrupt their careers to raise children or care for the home. This puts them in a catch-up situation, in which their retirement plans and other savings are often compromised.

Wealth decline is accelerated for women who have divorced, often because of unfair property division. Partners who attempt to hide assets in an offshore account, for instance, tend to be men — and women pay the price. This is why women need to be so insistent upon a full accounting of marital property, even if it delays the final decision. Women deserve access to joint property interests, but they may not push for their full rights.

The fact is that women tend to be the “non-moneyed” spouses in high asset divorce cases, but this advice is good for both men and women. Divorce proceedings can only be fair if all marital property is identified and valued, allowing the courts to create an equitable distribution plan. Without this plan, non-moneyed spouses may end up in financial straits. A qualified attorney can help you protect your rights throughout your divorce, allowing you to claim the marital property you deserve.

Source: Center for American Progress, “Women’s Economic Risk Exposure and Savings,” Christian E. Weller and Michele E. Tolson, April 27, 2017