Divorce can be a challenging process for anyone, but it comes with unique concerns and considerations for stay-at-home parents. After sacrificing and working hard to prioritize their children, they find themselves facing potential insecurity without viable careers or, in most cases, any significant savings.
While courts generally take into account stay-at-home parents’ contributions to the household and award alimony, it is usually not permanent. By preparing for post-divorce life, stay-at-home parents can ease the transition for themselves and their children.
It is important for stay-at-home parents to gain an accurate picture of their financial situation. They need to assess their available funds and income potential and make new budgets. One of the biggest sacrifices they made was giving up the possibility of a career. Any education, skills, experience or knowledge they had prior to their leaving their fields may be out-of-date. The gap in their resumes is also far from appealing to potential employers.
They may need to consider obtaining new skills or certifications or even going back to college if they have spousal support so they can become self-supporting. Alternatively, they may need to find jobs that fit their current abilities.
Collecting basic documents is important in the divorce process. It is important to make copies of financial records, such as tax returns, bank statements and mortgage documents. Additionally, stay-at-home parents also need to gather records related to their children, such as birth certificates and medical records.
Depending on the divorce settlement, stay-at-home parents may need to find new housing. It is important to secure a safe place to stay with enough room for the children if this is the case. Finding a place in a decent neighborhood close to both their workplaces and the children’s schools that fits in their budget can take some time, so getting a head start is important.
According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, 28% of mothers and 7% of fathers take on stay-at-home roles. Divorce can hit stay-at-home parents, who are dependent on their spouses’ income in most cases, hard. Careful preparation can help ease their adjustment.