You’ve probably heard about it too much — the storied divorce between Morrocan football star, Achraf Hakimi, and his wife, Hiba Abouk. Following an alleged infidelity tale, the couple recently went to court to legally split their union — and finances. There, it was revealed that Hakimi kept most of his fortune in his mother’s name, which meant he had little to contribute. Now, the $24 million-rich player might end up receiving more divorce proceeds from his wife, thanks to the decision to keep his money with a special bank: his mother. Hakimi’s story broke the global internet more than any of the goals he’s ever scored, but it also highlighted an important conversation for women: the connection between money and divorce.
For better, for worse is the marriage vow. Till death do us part is the lover’s creed. Nobody goes into marriage with plans to leave in between, but humans are fickle, and it’s possible, after some years, to lose the person whose eyes commanded such sparks in your belly. By lose, I don’t mean death, because death does little to douse strong love. I mean the painful process of watching your lover shapeshift into a person you hardly know, someone you’re struggling to see; to love; to marry. Usually, the lack of commitment monster shows up at this point and chokeholds the marriage until a tap out — divorce, is inevitable. What then follows? The material conversation.
According to research, most divorcees experience an average wealth decline of about 77%. So it’s an open secret that a divorce would likely make one poorer. This reality is more pronounced in Nigeria, where most divorces hardly go through the courts — just a lifetime separation and an angry flame to the marriage certificate. Statistically, women suffer more from divorce, as they become responsible for the children more often than not. And because women generally earn less than men — about 30% less in sub-Saharan Africa — the effects of divorce on women can be hard-hitting. For many of them, a failed marriage is only the beginning of many more years of agony and soul-crushing poverty. But it does not have to be so.
A way out
Realistically, there’s the risk of divorce — and significant wealth loss — in every marriage. But if evolution has taught us anything, it is that risks can be effectively managed to prevent casualties. While you can’t be sure that love and commitment will always be reciprocated, you can, especially as a woman, make moves to hedge the risks of wealth decline that come with divorce. You should bear in mind that doing this does not mean you don’t trust your spouse or marriage; it is merely an expression of financial wellness.
To hedge your risk, the first thing you should think about, even before the knot is tied, is signing a prenuptial agreement with your spouse. The ‘prenup’ contract allows you to state your right and responsibilities regarding assets, and what should happen in the eventuality of a divorce. It basically gives you the opportunity to be in control should the marriage fail. Prenups are known to stir unromantic feels, and that’s understandable. After all, it is a document that discusses the failure of a just-beginning marriage. However, more couples are getting comfortable with the idea of a prenup — and for some, including Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, the prenup came in handy for a smoother divorce experience.
Also, as a woman, married or not, mother or not, you should pay close attention to the growth of your personal income. You really can’t afford to be broke, struggling, or helplessly reliant. When Davido sang, “When money enter, love is sweeter,” he was spitting facts. More finances can unlock experiences for both partners and furnish the love with memories. So, pay attention to your income level as a woman. You’ll thank Herconomy for this advice in the future.
Another critical concern you should have is your savings; A.K.A the money you’re committing to your future. Saving is a fundamental expression that you want to live a financially responsible life. It is a tell that you love yourself so much to care about your future needs; that for whatever reason, you don’t want to wake up one day and have nothing to fall back on. Saving is self-love, and every woman should “carry it on their head,” as Nigerians would say.
At Herconomy, we understand the importance of growing income and savings. We organise numerous wealth-creation programs to empower communities of women. We also have a savings solution; an app we designed to help women grow their wealth. With us, you get 10% interest on your savings and kiss transaction charges goodbye. You can also save with communities of women in a way that enforces your relationships and commitment to financial freedom. Herconomy’s got the solutions you need, We were born with you in mind.
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