Are you a stay-at-home parent who is getting a divorce? Let’s say you have stayed home to raise your children, and it’s been 5, 10 or even 20 years since you had a job. You’re now thinking something to the effect of: “My skills are outdated and my kids still need be to be at home. I’ve devoted myself to supporting my spouse’s career, so I deserve spousal alimony and shouldn’t be forced to work.”
Guess what? The judge may not be very sympathetic to your situation. Increasingly, family courts across the country are setting limits on alimony and in many cases, requests are being denied altogether, even if the stay-at-home parent hasn’t worked for years.
Morghan Richardson, a family attorney in New York City told Forbes, “Judges increasingly look with suspicion at post-judgement alimony requests.” Richardson continues, “They see that women have just as much opportunity to earn as men do, and they should – even stay-at-home-moms who haven’t worked for decades.”
According to Forbes, statistics from the Labor Department reveal that three-quarters of women work and of all the households in the United States, 40 percent of them have female breadwinners. In other words, today’s women are not only earning a paycheck, but they’re financially responsible for themselves and their families.
Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads
Some men and women choose to stay-at-home and care for their children, while their spouse supports the family. For many, this is a risky proposition because the household’s wellbeing is placed one just one parent, who is the only one working. When a spouse abandons their career to raise the kids, it places their financial future at risk, especially considering the fact that about half of all first marriages end in divorce.
In the past, stay-at-home moms (and dads) facing divorce were almost guaranteed alimony, but these days, that’s not as common and many stay-at-home parents are shocked to learn of the new reality. Just because someone has chosen to stay home, it does not absolve them of the responsibility to support themselves and their children after a divorce.
If you are on the divorce path and you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, it’s important to have an honest conversation with a divorce attorney. Can you expect alimony? Should you plan on going back to work? We can help answer these questions so you can begin planning for your future as a single person.