Advice for Stay-At-Home Moms During a Divorce
Unfortunately, some marriages become untenable and divorce is the only alternative. This can be a frightening time especially if the woman has decided to be a stay-at-home mom to put quality time into raising the children.
This is when she needs to understand the family finances. How many credit cards does the family have and what are their interest rates? Is debt under control? What are the monthly expenses versus income? Where can one budget and what is your house worth? What is the interest rate and whose name is on the deed?
When facing a divorce, if the stay-at-home mom doesn’t understand the basics of her family’s finances, she needs to learn these things quickly.
Unless she has unlimited funds to tap into, she may have to face going back into the job force. This may not be fair. When she got married, her husband wanted her to give up her career to stay home with the kids.
You will be facing a new reality and a new budget, but you are also going to receive some assets from the working husband.
Under Florida law, there should be a fair and equitable division of the property. It may not be 50/50. In some cases, property may take the place of cash. If you have made a substantial contribution to the marriage and are not responsible for unreasonable debt, then expect to receive some of the assets of the marriage in exchange for the contribution of taking care of children.
It is vital to have an experienced family law attorney to determine what you are due. Divorce is hard enough. It is not a time to make mistakes that may cost your financial future.
Become Financially Savvy – Learn everything you can about finances and how much you need every month, preferably down to the last penny. Determine how much money you gave up in staying home with the kids. Consider the assets that are often overlooked such as retirement funds and a pension that helped pave the way for a secure future. Collect all documents you will need to prepare for divorce. That may include credit cards, your mortgage, car ownership, information on debt, insurance.
Child Support and Alimony – Child support and alimony are the most common forms of compensation going to a stay-at-home mom. Child support will cover his share of the cost of raising children. Alimony should compensate you for your role as a mom or as rehabilitative alimony so you can receive job training for your future. Child care will be needed if you are going back to school.
Selling Assets – A harsh reality is that selling the house, your largest asset, may be necessary as the marriage ends. This is most unfortunate because children need some stability during this tumultuous time, but it may not be practical to keep the home. Adjustments in this area may not be all bad, however.
If you are keeping the house, make sure you can afford the taxes, and maintenance. Balance the house expense with necessities such as food, transportation, childcare. Another option might be to sell the house and receive your portion of the cash. This allows you to find a more appropriate place to live. Children can have the new adventure of choosing their rooms and meeting new friends. Much of what they perceive will be directed by how you are handling the divorce.
Finding a Job – There are many women online who have figured out how to raise their kids at home and run a business. Look into stay-at-home-mom online businesses that you might be able to get into. Talk to a career coach who is up to date with home-based business opportunities.
Your Experienced Florida Family Law Attorney
Crystal Collins Spencer is a skilled Florida family law attorney who has advocated for many women facing divorce and an uncertain financial future.
If you need representation in Pensacola, Sandestin, or Fort Walton Beach, Crystal will be by your side to advise you on the division of property that protects you and your children during a difficult divorce. Reach out to our Pensacola office at 850-795-4910 to begin the conversation.