If you’re planning a divorce and you’re a stay-at-home parent, you’re probably concerned about your ability to stay financially afloat and your ability to support your children after you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse go your separate ways. In many cases, stay-at-home parents shouldn’t need to concern themselves about falling into poverty after their divorces conclude. In fact, many stay-at-home parents can pursue alimony or spousal maintenance payments in their divorce proceedings.
Your ability to pursue spousal maintenance successfully will depend on the answers to the following questions:
How long was your marriage?
Generally, the longer you were married, the more right to receiving alimony payments you’ll have. If it was a three-month marriage, for example, you won’t have the same ability to receive alimony as a spouse who was married for five or 10 years.
How long have you been a stay-at-home parent?
If you recently left the workforce, you’re a lot more employable than someone who left work to raise the children a decade ago. The person who has a higher capacity to be financially independent will usually receive less in terms of spousal maintenance.
How many children do you have?
Your alimony payment award may be higher if you have more children.
Do you need a new degree to be financially independent?
The goal of alimony payments will be to assist you to become financially independent in most cases. If you need to go back to school so you can gain employment after a divorce, your alimony may reflect the cost of your education and need for financial support while attending school.
Can your ex-spouse afford it?
Courts will be realistic in terms of what your ex-spouse can actually afford. The court will strive to ensure your alimony award helps you maintain the same standard of living within reason. If your ex can’t afford it, the court won’t award it.
If you’re worried about how you’ll make financial ends meet after your divorce, don’t overlook the possibility of pursuing alimony in your divorce case. An award of spousal maintenance could be just the kind of financial lifeline that you and your children need.