The survey shows that over 80 percent of women undergoing a divorce go through serious financial difficulties during and after the split up with their partners. Most of them are concerning common decisions made during their marriage, e.g. the purchase of home or the establishment of joint venture company to develop common business. On average, a divorced woman have savings equivalent to under one third of the savings of her ex-husband. The average pension a divorced woman may expect is around 41 percent lower than the one of her ex-husband. According to the authors of the survey these results are often a consequence of the priority women give to their motherhood rather that to their career development.
Additionally, the survey presents that after a divorce the health condition of women worsens more than that of men. The main burden in the life of divorced women is the care they have to take of their children and old parents. The statistics show that in Bulgaria the percentage of married couples at age of over fifty years that leave in poverty is under 10 percent. The percentage raises to 27 percent among divorced couples under the age of fifty. The results for women are worse – over 46 percent of the ones divorced after the age of fifty live in poverty.
The results mentioned above are the reasons for our law office to work on some pro bono cases of women lacking financial independence to afford a good lawyer for the tough divorce procedure they are undergoing. The divorce procedures are becoming more and more expensive around the world as well as in Bulgaria. The expenses for court fees for a divorce have doubled for the last five years.
Three years ago, a pro bono client of the office split up with her husband who is also her business partner. Since then he has been refusing to pay the supply he owes to the client and their children. “When we split up he was using out joint financial resources in order to punish me. The life of my children and me completely changed”, the client commented.
Undoubtedly, it is not so romantic to make plans for a divorce and a possible need for financial independence in the future during the happy moths before the wedding. That is the reason for many women to enter into marriage without a wedding contract.
On the other hand the Bulgarian Family Code gives an equitable solution to this problem by positing that real rights, acquired during the marriage are jointly co-owned by the spouses. This principle does not apply to the property acquired on behalf of a company, owned by only one of the spouses. In other words, the company shares are personal property of the spouse who acquired them. Personal is also the property for exercising a profession or craft and bank deposits.
Provided that one of the spouses is unemployed but personally takes care of the children and the family, the former shall pay attention to the way the other spouse manages the savings of the family and acquires property. If the spouses run a joint venture and work jointly for its property they shall have equal shares in it. Regardless to the good relations between the spouses one shall not ignore the reasonable and careful approach to the relations regarding family properties.