Divorcing As A Stay-At-Home Parent: Create A Plan For Success

Posted on: 5 March 2020

With stay-at-home parents, there is sometimes a perception that their contribution to the marriage is somewhat smaller than that of working parents. Consequently, their entitlement to property or assets during a divorce is expected to be limited; this idea is false. If you did not work during the marriage and are headed towards divorce, you don't have to walk away empty-handed, but there are some factors to keep in mind.

Do Your Research

Now is the time to start researching your family's assets. In some family dynamics, the non-working spouse doesn't manage or control any of the finances. If your relationship followed this path, you should learn more about the family's financial status, and do so now. All this information will prove critical when it becomes time to prepare a divorce settlement.

Get your hand on everything from bank statements to retirement account documents. Keep in mind; if your name is on any of these accounts, you have a legal right to access this information, so don't feel like you are doing anything illegal.

Have a Reason to Leave

You are never required to remain in a marriage that you don't want to be in. However, when it comes to finances, it's best to have a valid reason to end the marriage and be able to prove it. Judges sometimes award divorce settlements based on the motivation for the marriage dissolution. 

A stay-at-home parent that decides they simply don't want to be married anymore and files for divorce would likely walk away with much less than another non-working parent who lives because of infidelity, abuse, or another toxic behavior. Again, you should never stay in a marriage you no longer desire to be a part of, but having a reason to want to move on can help. 

Create a Game Plan

Take the time to start creating a goal for your post-divorce life. Your life after your marriage ends will be much different than your current life, so it's important to think about where you want to be in this new scenario. One reason this step is so important is that it helps you establish what level of support you will need and for how long. 

Whether you want to further your education or reenter the workforce, you need to have a plan so that you are confident that any divorce settlement you receive will help you achieve this life. 

If you have found yourself facing this type of scenario, speak with a family law attorney in your area.