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Divorce is a stark financial adjustment for people who are stay-at-home parents or spouses. Women have traditionally been the ones to take the domestic role in a marriage, though an increasing number of men have become stay-at-home dads and husbands. The domestic spouse is likely financially dependent upon the working spouse, and this will initially continue after the divorce. Child support and spousal maintenance help but do little more than keep someone afloat. If you are a stay-at-home parent getting a divorce, there is no avoiding that you will need to find your own source of work income.
Returning to Work
Some spouses step away from their careers in order to raise their children or to accommodate a more lucrative career opportunity for their other spouse. After a divorce, these spouses have the advantage of previous experience and job skills when searching for employment. However, reentering the workforce can be difficult. You must consider:
Some careers require continuing education to stay qualified or frequently change the technology that they use. Your years away from your career could be a deciding factor when applying for competitive positions. You must decide whether you want to update your job skills, take a lesser position in the same field or pursue a different career that uses your existing skills.
Your work opportunities will be more limited if you have never had a job before or have not been trained in a career. The jobs you can obtain may not pay enough to support yourself and your children. Continuing education may be a smart option to give you the career training necessary to qualify for better jobs. The time and expense may discourage you when you are in immediate need of money. However, a court can grant rehabilitative maintenance, in which your former spouse would pay maintenance while you attend school or receive job training. The maintenance would be contingent upon you making a good-faith effort to educate yourself, with the goal of becoming financially self-supporting.
Compensation for Stay-At-Home Parents
When determining spousal maintenance, divorce courts must consider how a spouse foregoing his or her education and career during the marriage may limit his or her earning capacity. A Kane County divorce attorney at Geneva Family Lawyers can argue for greater spousal maintenance because of the sacrifice you made as a stay-at-home parent. Schedule a free consultation by calling 331-588-6611.