Stay-at-home parents: Can you afford a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | Blog, Divorce

As a stay-at-home parent, you dedicate your time to your family, providing essential support for your working spouse in many ways.

Leaving your career to focus on your children can present unique challenges if you decide to get a divorce. Understanding your options helps you navigate the process.

How do you pay for an attorney?

If you do not have access to your own funds, you may think you cannot afford a lawyer. However, divorcing without professional legal advice can result in an inadequate settlement. The court allows you to request that your spouse pay your attorney fees. A judge will look at your circumstance and your spouse’s ability to pay when determining if you need financial assistance. Your divorce decree will include repayment terms if the court grants your request.

What financial information do you need?

If you do not handle the family’s finances, you must familiarize yourself with details regarding any bank accounts, loans, credit card balances, household bills and income sources. Make a list of the information you know and print any records you have. Make copies of documents such as:

  • Bank account statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Retirement account statements
  • Mortgage documents
  • Life insurance papers
  • Tax records

How can you pay for living expenses during the divorce process?

If you and your spouse decide not to live together during your divorce, you may find yourself with bills you cannot pay. Judges can award you temporary spousal support to help cover costs until you finalize your settlement. Courts may provide this type of support if you have been at home for an extended time and cannot return to work immediately.

Divorcing when you do not currently have income can be stressful. With knowledge of your rights under the law, you have options to proceed with a divorce.

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