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How to approach divorce as a stay-at-home mother

| Mar 22, 2021 | Divorce

You have spent years focused on raising your children and keeping your house running. You sacrificed your career to raise your family and you have not worked outside the home. Recently, you have contemplated divorce but you wonder if your lack of employment and income will cause potential problems. 

Stay-at-home mothers have the same right to pursue a divorce as any other person. As you consider your options, prepare yourself for the divorce proceedings. Before filing, get a handle on your financial situation. 

Gather financial documents

Collect bank statements, mortgage statements, credit card information and any information regarding loans. Having a clear picture of the life you and your children have experienced for the past several years will give you a better idea of what you want out of the settlement. 

Gain access to funds

Make sure that you have access to any joint accounts. If you do not, and you are unable to gain access, start a savings account. You will need money to pay for the costs of divorce. 

Create a budget

Look over your financial statements and figure out where the money goes each month. Learn the monthly costs for food, clothing, bills, your mortgage and every other expense. Craft a realistic picture of how much money you need each month going forward in order to provide for your children. 

Know the value of your home

While it may be tempting to keep your kids in the home they grew up in, the value of your home may offer the funds you need going forward. If you and your spouse sell the home and split the profits, you may be able to downsize to a more affordable home with money left over. 

If you do not have a past career to return to, consider requesting alimony, even temporarily as you gain skills or education. Many courts are increasingly respectful of the sacrifices that stay-at-home parents make and are likely to grant spousal support to help you provide for your children.