Stay at home moms are at the core of a family unit, the children are cared for, the husband is loved, dinner is made, the house is cleaned, checkbook is balanced, the dogs are walked, and lunch is even ready for tomorrow. A divorce can shatter the world of a stay at home mom and the family she works so hard to care for.
An impending divorce proceeding can feel daunting, especially, when you rely solely on another for financial support. There are many things to consider when the divorce proceedings are initiated and as the proceedings continue. Protecting your rights is our priority and we will help you navigate all avenues you may be entitled to including:
- Temporary Order of Support (continued financial support during the divorce proceedings)
- Spousal Support
- Child Support
- Special Financial Needs of a Child
Value of a Stay at Home Mom
Choosing to opt out of the general workforce doesn’t mean that stay at home moms aren’t lifting a finger. If you were to calculate a salary for a stay at home mom based on all the jobs tasks performed and the 24/7/365 work schedule, it would cost over $113,000 annually to replace a stay at home mom. To provide a bit of prospective, an average physician earns $153,000 annually while working 56 hours a week.
Planning for the Divorce
As hard as it may be, you will need to gather as much information as you can about your finances and marital assets (home, vehicles, purchases made as a couple). Make a detailed list of personal and shared debts, all bills and outgoing expenses, income or other deposits. Include property you own personally or jointly with your spouse and all tangible assets (furniture, jewelry, electronics, etc.) that will need to be divided between you and your spouse.
Create a Plan for After the Divorce
You will need to estimate how much is will cost you to live on your own, either in your own place or in the home you shared with your spouse. Estimate monthly expenses such as rent/mortgage, water, electricity, groceries, and the like. Include expenses for your children’s doctor or dental visits, costs of school supplies, clothing, and education costs. This serves two purposes – one, it will give you a realistic expectation of how to survive without your spouse’s income and it will help your attorney calculate necessary spousal support payments.
During the Divorce
Your spouse will be required to continue paying for the mortgage (or rent) and other bills so that the collateral to marital assets are not lost. The judge may require your spouse to pay a temporary allowance so that you can continue to buy groceries and care for your children. The judge will also want to determine your employability and whether spousal support will be granted in addition to child support.
Determining Your Employability
Receiving spousal support is not a guaranteed right and you will need to consider your employability. In most cases, the judge will expect you to provide at least a part of your own support post-divorce and you should begin to look into entering (or re-entering) the workforce. You will face many questions regarding your choice to stay home, your education, and and employable skills you may posses. Do you have a college degree that you did not utilize so that you can stay home and be the caregiver to your children? Did you have a career prior to meeting your spouse or having children? If you have never held a job, you may be required to attend a vocational assessment where a specialist will determine what your most employable skills are and a likely career field where you could be successful.
This is also commonly referred to as short term alimony or limited alimony. Rehabilitative alimony is an order of support that usually expires a few years after your divorce. The purpose of rehabilitative alimony is to provide you financial support while you look for gainful employment in the career field you once worked in, attempt to go back to school, or seek training in order to re-enter the work force.
Long Term Alimony
Long term alimony, sometimes called permanent alimony, is typically reserved to being awarded to older women or to women who were married for over 10 years. Long term alimony is usually effective until you remarry or your ex-husband passes away. Long term alimony can be beneficial for women who have dedicated their lives to child rearing and are past the age where the judge (and your ex-husband) can reasonably expect you to enter (or re-enter) the workforce or seek continued education to do so.