When you and your spouse decided that your household only needed one paycheck, you took over the role of stay-at-home parent. At the time, it made sense to save on day care, and you got to watch your children grow. But now, as the two of you prepare for divorce, how will your choices affect you?
Ending a marriage is often a complicated undertaking. But for stay-at-home parents, it can be full of uncertainty. Between finances, child custody and asset division, many different factors can affect the outcome of the divorce. Here are a few tips for stay-at-home parents to prepare for the process:
Gather any and all financial documents
You and your spouse’s current financial situation is vital information for calculating property division, child support and spousal support. Obtaining copies of tax returns, bank statements, deeds and titles helps show where the two of you are financially. Before you start the process, try to gather as much information as possible.
Make a realistic post-divorce budget
Once everything is final, your financial situation will be much different. You will be solely responsible for housing costs, utility bills, car payments, food, toiletries and anything else you and your children need to survive. Making a budget before the divorce helps you calculate your costs and prepare for any changes to your lifestyle.
Prepare to go on interviews with employers
Depending on how long you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, getting back into the workforce can be difficult. Put together a resume and start preparing for job interviews. You may be able to find resources online for what questions to expect.
Remember that being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job, too. Taking the time to answer interview questions now can help you put together responses that incorporate the demands of raising children and taking care of a home.
Preparation helps stay-at-home parents take the final step
Divorce is never an easy process. But for stay-at-home parents, financial uncertainty could cause hesitation. They may try to stay in a toxic or loveless marriage.
However, with early preparation, you can be ready for what will come after the marriage is over. You can get to the other side of the proceedings with both feet on firm financial ground.