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Rech Law, P.C. Rech Law, P.C.
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What Is Divorce Like for a Stay-at-Home Parent?


More than 11 million U.S. parents do not have jobs outside of the household. Although the number of stay-at-home dads has increased since 1989, more than one-quarter of American mothers still serve as full-time caregivers and homemakers. But what happens to these stay-at-home parents during a divorce? According to Forbes and HuffPost, they must take a good look at their financial situation and prepare for some major lifestyle changes.

Understanding Your Marital Estate

If you are the one filing for divorce, you should gather your financial records and meet with a financial planner before you do so. You may need to consider the timing of your divorce and create a realistic budget for your family's future. If you've been served with divorce papers, you will still need to create a budget and consider the financial needs of you and your children.

Keep in mind that you may not get to keep the marital home, and the breadwinner of your family may not be able to maintain two separate households financially. You may need to consider getting a job, going back to school, or exploring other ways to maintain your lifestyle after the divorce.

Assets and Alimony

During your divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide your marital assets. In some situations, both partners will split property equally, but in others, the breadwinner may be entitled to more assets. Nevertheless, the court does consider roles within the marriage, and if you served as the stay-at-home parent, you may be entitled to alimony. The rules for alimony depend on what state you live in, and the amount of your alimony may be linked to the length of your marriage and other factors.

You should research alimony in your state or speak to a divorce attorney anytime you are facing a dissolution of marriage.

The Value of Homemaking

In many courtrooms, the jury is still out on how to value caretaking during a divorce. Unfortunately, stay-at-home parents often receive less than they deserve. This is just one reason why it's so important to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side during the division of assets and all other parts of a divorce.

Other Considerations

In North Carolina, the state requires a mandatory period of separation before couples can get divorced. Whether you're considering divorce or you've been served with divorce papers, you should think about the kind of life you want to lead after your divorce. If you are sharing custody of your children, for example, you may need to live close to your former spouse. If you become the custodial parent, you may be entitled to child support.

Similarly, you will need to decide whether or not you wish to return to the workforce, and what resources you need to preserve your quality of life as a single parent.

A divorce attorney at Rech Law, P.C. can help you prepare for your new life and achieve your financial goals. Because the majority of American households now have two wage earners, divorces with a stay-at-home parent can be especially complicated. Fortunately, our highly awarded and reputable legal team has a track record of successful outcomes and will help ensure you have realistic expectations from the start. We are personally invested in your case and your future, and we promise to keep you informed every step of the way.

To file for or respond to a divorce, please call us at (704) 659-0007 or contact us online today.