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The Financial (In)Security of Women in Remarriages (4-part Series)

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Engel, Margorie.
Corporate Author: 
National Stepfamily Resource Center.
Technical Report
Page Count: 

This fact sheet summarizes findings from a survey of 426 women that investigated financial issues in remarriage. The study found women seem to embrace the idea of an equal partnership before marriage and make allowances if the marriage functions in a less-than-equal partnership between husbands and wives. Specific findings indicate: financial problems are almost exclusively related to ties to the first marriage rather than to a lack of resources; 44% of remarried women have only joint checking accounts, 12% have only separate accounts, and 41% have some joint/some separate accounts; over half of the wives have at least one savings account in her own name; only one in five of the wives own the policy on their husband's life and about 75% of the respondent wives are the named beneficiary on at least one of their husband's insurance policies; over half of the women surveyed were responsible for maintaining the financial files; and over 60% of the wives mostly or somewhat agreed that their financial involvement was greater in this marriage than in prior marriage(s) and identify communication as the key. Additional findings reveal wives who are not also biological mothers do not seem to have a frame of reference for child-related expenses, feel an additional strain when dad provides monies above and beyond what is legally required, and are surprised by the lack of accountability for the use of child support. Finally, previously married women and those in their first marriage report virtually identical financial (in)security positions.

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