Deciding to get a divorce can be one of the most gut-wrenching decisions a person makes. Everyone enters a marriage with high hopes and aspirations for a long and happy life together. Unfortunately, half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. Figuring out how your life moves forward can present one of the biggest challenges for you.
Stay-at-home moms have even more challenges. When a stay-at-home mom decides that her marriage has ended, that can create additional headaches and unique stress. Stay-at-home moms often feel overwhelmed and unsure of what happens next. Many of their concerns come down to money.
Stay-at-Home Mom Questions
Although nearly everything that worries a stay-at-home mom can be reduced to finances, there are more detailed questions involved. Because stay-at-home moms have given up or never started careers so they could provide for their children, they are often unsure of what is next for them.
Many of their questions include:
- How can they pay the bills?
- Will they be able to keep their home?
- How will they find a job?
- What will happen to their health insurance?
- Will their lifestyle change significantly?
There are many unknowns when it comes to divorce. Couples often see a radical change in financial situation, and stay-at-home moms tend to see the most varied change. But stay-at-home moms have rights, and a lawyer can help protect those rights.
Steps for Stay-at-Home Moms to Take
When a stay-at-home mom knows they are getting a divorce, there are steps they can take to help prepare themselves, and their children, for the inevitable change. Looking at divorce as a fresh start can be helpful to put individuals in the right mindset as they begin this new chapter of their lives.
Collect financial information. During the divorce process, each party to the marriage will be required to provide detailed financial information. This information is used to ensure that the parties split up assets equitably.
Many divorcing couples think this means equally, but it does not. An equitable distribution of the marriage may mean that one party gets more items than the other, but there may be a legitimate reason for that, such as to offset the cost of one spouse keeping the marital home.
Know the value of marital assets. Marital assets are any assets that the couple acquires or uses during the marriage. Although there are exceptions to this, each spouse should be acutely aware of the value of their marital assets.
Not only is this helpful in determining whether one spouse might be trying to hide assets, but also it is valuable to understand what the assets are worth. Many stay-at-home moms do not handle the family finances, so it can be easy for the other spouse to try and manipulate the finances in their favor. Knowing the value of the big assets, such as the house and cars, is a great place to start.
Plan to get a job. Many stay-at-home moms have given up their careers or never even started a career, all for the good of the children. This was a significant contribution to the marriage and should not go overlooked. But it also means that, without another spouse in the picture, the stay-at-home mom may need to look for a new job.
Sometimes, when stay-at-home moms never had a career, they may need to go back to school first to develop marketable skills. This might seem overwhelming but, in the long run, will help the mother get back on her feet and be able to support herself and her children.
Create a new budget. With the drastic changes coming, the stay-at-home mom should also create a new budget. Things might be extremely tight for some time, especially while she seeks to find a new job.
Creating a new budget will help any stay-at-home mom stick to a plan that helps them live within their means. This might be difficult at first, especially for spouses of a financially well-off marriage, but is necessary to ensure stability for the children.
Work with a divorce lawyer. A skilled divorce lawyer can not only be a compassionate ear for a stay-at-home mom, but also provide aggressive legal advocacy that may help reduce the stress and worry of the mother. Part of a divorce lawyer’s job is to determine whether their client is entitled to alimony.
Alimony is offered in some divorces and is based on one spouse’s need for the support and the other spouse’s ability to provide the support. This is why the financial information is so vital to getting adequate alimony for the spouse who needs the support, most often a stay-at-home mom.
A stay-at-home mom, through their lawyer, can argue that they have provided support at home for an extended period and cannot return to work without first getting updated education. In this instance, the other spouse may be required to provide temporary alimony for a short period, until the stay-at-home mom can get back on her feet.
In longer marriages, a court may determine that the stay-at-home mom would never be able to support herself in the lifestyle of which she has become accustomed and will need financial support for the rest of her life. Although rarer and usually provided only in marriages lasting more than two decades, this longer alimony could be possible in certain circumstances for stay-at-home moms.
Divorce can be one of the most personally challenging times in a person’s life. But it is so important to remember that you do not have to go through this alone. Get the help and support you deserve by speaking today with the experienced and compassionate Bel Air alimony lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. For more information and a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 443-589-0150. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.