Divorce & Widowhood

Both divorce and widowhood can be extremely emotional and oftentimes unexpected events in a woman's life. The difficulties are often further compounded by the practical issues that arise during these transitional periods. WISER has developed various resources to help make this time a bit less stressful and to help newly divorced or widowed women make smart and informed financial decisions.

Helpful Tools:

Divorce and Retirement:


Take Control of Retirement Benefits

Because pension and retirement benefits are not automatically split in a divorce, this short, common-sense guide emphasizes the importance of these benefits and offers valuable information on marital property, negotiating an agreement, and getting a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).  

Download the booklet



WISER and SAGE's National Resource Center on LGBT Aging developed a series of resources for managing your finances through marriage, divorce and widowhood: 

Marriage and Finances: Planning for the Unexpected
Protecting Your Finances During a Divorce
Managing the Financial Impact of Widowhood


WISER, in conjunction with the Heinz Family Philanthropies, released What Women Need to Know About Retirement, a free e-book available for PDF download. Download Chapter 7, which looks at issues such as divorce and widowhood: When the Unthinkable Happens. (published 2007)

Further information on Social Security benefits for Widows:

Contact the Social Security Administration or call them at 800-772-1213 to ask if you are eligible for:

  • survivor benefits
  • surviving child benefits
  • lump sum death payment
  • black lung benefit, and/or
  • Medicare benefits


For more resources on Divorce and Widowhood, click here

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