If you’re a mother who’s considering divorce, you’re facing some unique challenges. Check out these divorce tips for moms to find out what lies ahead – and prepare yourself for a successful outcome.
7 Divorce Tips for Moms
Check out these seven divorce tips for moms, and then read on to get answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.
#1. If you need spousal support, ask for it.
Many working and stay-at-home moms are entitled to spousal support (more on that later), so if you need it, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
#2. Try to work with your spouse to reach agreements about your children.
When you and your spouse can work together – even if your children can’t see that you’re doing it – you’re setting a good example. You’re also more likely to be reasonably satisfied with the outcome when you both have a hand in creating it.
Related: 13 co-parenting rules to live by
#3. Learn about co-parenting, and encourage your ex to learn about it, too.
Co-parenting is good for your kids; it’s the act of working with your spouse to continue to parent your children. (But if you can’t co-parent because your ex is too uncooperative, don’t stress it. Things will work out just fine – trust us.)
#4. Get everything in writing.
When you communicate with your ex, try to keep it in writing – especially if you two don’t get along very well. When you have a series of emails, you have a paper trail you can fall back on if your ex says one thing and does another.
#5. Don’t talk about your divorce (or your ex) in front of your kids.
Your kids know you’re getting divorced, and it’s definitely fine to answer their questions in age-appropriate ways. However, don’t call your mom, your best friend or your therapist in front of them – they’re not emotionally equipped to handle it.
#6. Don’t try to mediate between your kids and their other parent when there’s a disagreement.
If your children and your ex have a disagreement or dispute, don’t try to be the middleman. It’s between them, and you should support your children without trying to mediate.
#7. Expect your kids to feel confused, guilty, sad or abandoned.
Kids deal with divorce differently based on several factors, including their ages. It’s normal for children to feel confused, guilty, sad or abandoned – and it’s up to you to reassure them that you love them. Another thing to consider: Many children benefit from talking to a divorce therapist.
Divorce Tips for Moms: FAQ
We get a lot of questions specifically from moms, so check out these FAQ – and if you don’t see an answer to your question here, call us at 209-395-1605 to schedule a consultation with a Stockton divorce lawyer.
Related: Child custody in California
How Do Stay-at-Home Moms Get Divorced?
If you’re a stay-at-home mom who wants a divorce, you need to know that it is entirely possible for you to leave your spouse and get a fresh start. You’ll have to:
- Get financial records, such as bank statements, asset statements, tax returns and other documents
- Think about how you’ll divide your assets (California is a community property state)
- Talk to an attorney about spousal support and having the court compel your ex to pay your legal fees
- Learn about child support in California
- Make a concrete plan before you take any major steps
How Do You Get Divorced When You Have No Money?
For many moms who have no money, divorce seems out of reach – but there are still a couple of options. First, you can file for divorce on your own, without an attorney. You may also be able to get the judge to agree that your spouse should pay your legal fees, which can happen when one spouse was the primary earner and the other doesn’t have the financial resources to pay an attorney.
What Are My Rights as a Mother Going Through Divorce?
In California, mothers and fathers have equal rights during a divorce. With that said, you have the right to:
- Ask for physical custody of your children
- Ask for legal custody of your children
- Receive child support if you are the custodial parent
- Ask for spousal support if you need it
What Does a Wife Get in a Divorce?
California is a community property state, which means everything that you and your spouse acquire during your marriage belongs equally to both of you. Some property is separate, though – if you or your ex brought it into the marriage, it’s generally yours to keep. Still other property is a mix of separate and community. Here’s an example: Let’s say you bought a house a few years before you married. You continued paying on the house even after you got married. Because you continued to pay for it once you got married, it’s part separate, part community. Your lawyer can help you figure out how to divide the house (or its proceeds, should you sell it).
Can a Stay-at-Home Mom Get Alimony?
Many stay-at-home mothers are entitled to alimony in a divorce. Usually, a judge will look at several factors when determining whether to award spousal support – including whether the supported spouse (in this case, the stay-at-home mom) can support herself. Usually, courts award alimony for a set period of time – typically how long it should take for the supported spouse to become self-supporting.
Can I Be a Stay-at-Home Mom After Divorce?
Realistically, it would be difficult for a person to be a stay-at-home mom after divorce. When the courts award spousal maintenance, it’s with the intention of the supported spouse becoming self-sufficient within a reasonable period of time. That means you would need to take the time you’re receiving alimony and work toward earning a degree or learning new job skills so that you can support yourself. However, if you can get your ex-spouse to agree to pay you a significant amount of spousal support with an agreement that you’ll remain a stay-at-home mom, it may be possible.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer to Get More Divorce Tips for Moms?
If you’re a mom considering divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we may be able to help you. Call us at 209-395-1605 to schedule your consultation with an experienced Stockton family law attorney today.