Childcare and household management is a full-time job that grants no leaves or vacation; not to mention, you are not paid for the hundreds of things you do for your family each day. Nonetheless, it is a fulfilling role that brings tremendous joy to the whole family. About 30% of mothers and 7% of fathers in the U.S are stay-at-home parents. Several women and men abandon their career temporarily or permanently to take care of the kids and keep the home from falling apart. Their spouse becomes the sole breadwinner, and is therefore responsible for bearing all living expenses of the family.
The stay-at-home parent will naturally become financially dependent on the working partner. This puts them at a disadvantage in the aftermath of a divorce if they didn’t go back to work in the last couple of years. They lose touch with a professional environment and any occupational skills they possessed earlier need to be brushed up. Finding a suitable or well-paid job right away under these circumstances is hard.
More than often, the education of the stay-at-home parent is not sufficient to fetch them employment that pays enough to afford the lifestyle they are accustomed to. They need to go back to school to complete a degree and become capable of self-support. No matter who initiates the divorce, the spouse who lacks financial independence is the one who suffers more. The thoughts about paying for basic necessities, loans, and legal fees are daunting when your income is zero.
Divorce certainly puts the stay-at-home parent in a financially distraught condition, but nothing that cannot be overcome with a bit of will and determination. If your soon-to-be-ex cannot be trusted, work with Divorce Attorney in Commack, NY, to protect your legal rights. In case you don’t know where to start, here’s a rundown of steps to be taken as soon as the divorce is filed:
1. Withdraw your share from joint accounts
Once the divorce is initiated, make up your mind to take what is rightfully yours. If you and your spouse have joint bank accounts, you should transfer half of the funds into your personal account before they attempt to block you out or take everything. If you don’t already own an individual account, it’s time you did. You will need this money more than ever in the coming days.
2. Estimate your individual expenses
Nothing will be the same once you stop living with your spouse and all financial support from their side is cut off. It is common to misjudge one’s individual expenses if the spouse was primarily in charge of paying bills and dues. You need to acknowledge the real cost of your lifestyle and create a feasible budget for yourself.
3. Let go of stuff you cannot afford
If your spouse was singlehandedly paying for the mortgage, you may very well forget about keeping the family home. The house may have immense sentimental value, but there’s no point in holding onto it if managing day-to-day expenses seems like a challenge right now. The rule implies to any other expensive stuff that doesn’t entirely belong to you. Liquidating joint assets and dividing the proceeds is the best option in situations like these.
4. Request alimony
It is understandable that you cannot start working straightaway or maintain a certain lifestyle provided by your ex’s income. You need time to get back on your feet and the law is on your side. You may petition for spousal support; how much you receive in alimony and how long the payments last depend on your unique circumstances. Note to self that the legal procedure for acquiring alimony takes time, so you need to depend on other resources in the meantime. If you don’t have any savings to rely on, accept financial help from family and friends.
5. Use Credit and Savings wisely
Retail therapy sounds like a dream come true when you’re emotionally devastated by the divorce, but it’s wrong on so many levels. First of all, you should be thinking about saving money rather lavishly spending in times like these. The debt you rake up now will add to your financial burdens later. Do not utilize more than 30% of your credit limit and only cash in savings during desperate times for important stuff.