Stay-at-home moms who have spent many of their married years as mothers who maintain the household and head child-rearing while relying on the income of their spouses may be intimidated by the prospect of divorce. Indeed, not only is divorce an emotional process for anyone, but for a stay-at-home mom who has always been dependent on her partner, divorce can create many financial anxieties, too. While your financial situation should not prevent you from seeking a divorce if that is what you want and need, there are some important financial considerations for stay-at-home moms to think about before filing divorce paperwork. Here are some things that you should know–
You’ll Likely Receive Spousal Maintenance
One thing that can help to ease your financial woes is the fact that it is more likely than not that you will be eligible for an award of spousal maintenance (alimony). Spousal maintenance is designed to help a dependent partner in a marriage/divorce support themselves with funding from the financially independent party. In making a determination about spousal maintenance, a court will consider each party’s gross income, marital property, the financial resources of each party, tax consequences of an award, and whether or not an award is fair and equitable (CRS 14-10-114).
If You Get Custody, Your Spouse Will Have to Pay Child Support
If you still have minor children in the home, you may be worried about how you will support these children (and yourself) if you are to divorce from your spouse, especially if you’ve been out of the workforce for years. One thing that you should know is that if you are awarded primary custody of your children–which is more likely than not if you have been the primary caregiver up until this point–then your spouse will be required to pay child support. Both parents have a duty to support their children financially.
You’re Entitled to Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
Even if you didn’t actually earn the money that filled up bank accounts and bought the many assets in your marriage, such as vehicles, your family home, furniture, and the like, you’re still entitled to equitable distribution of any marital assets. This means that it is very unlikely that you will be left with nothing after the divorce, even if your spouse was the only breadwinner.
Other Things to Think About
Just because spousal maintenance, child support, and equitable distribution laws are in place, all of which help a stay-at-home parent support themselves after a divorce, this does not mean that there aren’t some things to plan for, financially speaking. These include:
- Finding a place to live. Even if you are receiving spousal support and get a fair property division settlement, finding a place to live could still push your budget to the limit. Try to plan for a place to live before filing for divorce.
- Getting a job. You’ll probably want to return to the workforce after your divorce, which might require acquiring new skills or education first.
- Setting a budget. Your costs of living may be different post-divorce, and you may have less money to support those costs. Set a budget early on to know exactly how much you’ll need to get by comfortably.
Our Colorado Divorce Lawyers Can Help
One of the best ways to mitigate the negative impacts of a divorce is to consult with an experienced Colorado divorce lawyer as soon as you start thinking about leaving your spouse. At Divorce Matters, we have helped stay-at-home moms like you secure the best divorce settlements possible. Call us today to learn more.