Divorce Advice for Stay-At-Home Moms
Divorce can be very challenging both emotionally and financially. For a stay-at-home mom that has chosen to leave the traditional workforce and support her family at home, the prospect of divorce can be very scary. Not having an active and current resume, no matter how long you’ve been a stay-at-home mom, can cause challenges in finding new employment. And, if you have been staying home for some time you may not be ready to re-enter the workforce for personal reasons or because you are simply under-qualified for a position that would earn enough money for it to be worthwhile to be away from home. A stay-at-home mom that is embarking on divorce should be vigilant in understanding her rights and do everything possible to prepare ahead of time to achieve an optimal outcome in divorce.
First and foremost, if she hasn’t already, a stay-at-home mom needs to fully educate herself on the family’s finances. You need to gather and know about your tax returns, pay stubs, investment accounts, mortgage statements, credit card statements, retirement account statements, life insurance policy information. Understanding your financial position as well as verifying that you have access to all accounts is very important in not just achieving financial independence on your own but it is necessary to protect yourself in divorce because all assets, debts, and expenses will be considered in determining alimony and child support.
If you do not already have a bank account in your own name, the sooner you can open one and begin setting aside your own money, the better. Even amicable divorces sometimes turn combative when it comes to money issues so start protecting yourself as soon as possible. Additionally, consider opening a P.O. Box or using a temporary mailing address so that your spouse does not have access to your mail. Work with a divorce mediator to learn how you can protect yourself as a stay-at-home mom and obtain a fair divorce settlement for everyone.