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4 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents Getting a Divorce

Posted on in Spousal Maintenance

Naperville spousal support lawyerThough modern households often have two working parents, it is still not uncommon for one parent to stay home and take care of the children. Stay-at-home parents face a unique set of worries with it comes to divorce. If you are a stay-at-home parent, your spouse may have provided you with a sense of stability, but as that disappears, you are likely facing a great deal of uncertainty. Now, you may find yourself worrying about things you never thought you would have to worry about, like where you and your children will live and how you will be able to provide for your children.

Fortunately, there are ways you can address these issues when going through your divorce. Specific issues that other divorcing parents may not have to deal with, such as spousal maintenance, suddenly become extremely important to your divorce case. Even issues that most divorcing couples have to deal with, such as property division and child support, can be different when one spouse was a stay-at-home parent. Here are a few tips that may help stay-at-home parents better navigate divorce:

1. Gather All of Your Important Documents

Before you begin with the divorce, you need to make sure you have an accurate picture of your financial situation. For some stay-at-home parents, finances are dealt with by their spouse, and they might not even have direct access to the family’s financial information. Understanding your financial picture will ensure that you get everything you need and deserve out of your divorce. You will need to gather specific types of documents and provide copies to your attorney. You will want to make sure that you have located:

  • Tax returns and/or W2s
  • Mortgage documents
  • Ledgers for any personal loans
  • Auto loan documents
  • Vehicle titles
  • Credit card statements
  • Retirement account information
  • Information about insurance policies
  • Investment account documents

Having copies of these documents will help ensure that marital property is divided fairly and equitably and that spousal maintenance is calculated correctly.

2. Research Illinois Spousal Maintenance Laws

One of the biggest changes in your life following your divorce may be the fact that your spouse is no longer providing the income for the household. While this may seem like a scary or intimidating thought, it is important to understand that it is extremely likely that you will be awarded spousal maintenance in the divorce. Illinois courts understand that stay-at-home parents often sacrifice their own education or careers to stay home and take care of their children. Because of this, spousal maintenance is often awarded to stay-at-home parents so that they may continue to enjoy the same quality of life that they did during the marriage.

Before Illinois courts will award spousal maintenance, the judge will look at a variety of factors to determine whether a maintenance award is appropriate. In the case of the stay-at-home parent, a spousal maintenance award is almost always appropriate. The goal of the courts and your attorney is to make sure that you get the financial resources that you will meet your needs.

3. Begin to Explore Your Career Options

For some stay-at-home parents, returning to the workforce is unavoidable. Even if spousal maintenance is awarded, it may not last forever. Because of this, you may have to begin to look for a job or pursue education or career training. For some parents, the costs of childcare and the responsibilities of single parenthood can present challenges when considering a return to work. A skilled divorce lawyer will be able to ensure you receive the spousal maintenance you deserve to make this time less difficult.

4. Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney for More Information

Being a stay-at-home parent is rewarding for many people, but it can pose special concerns when it comes to getting a divorce. As a stay-at-home parent, there are certain things that you must consider carefully as you work to make sure that you will be able to provide for yourself and your children. 

At the Goostree Law Group, we understand that a divorce can be difficult for a stay-at-home parent. Our compassionate Wheaton stay-at-home parent divorce lawyers will work with you and your family to help you achieve a positive outcome to your divorce. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.





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