If you’re a stay-at-home mom who’s facing divorce, you probably have a lot of questions. While most of them can be solved during a consultation with a Stockton divorce attorney, here’s a quick peek at a little divorce advice for stay-at-home moms.
Divorce Advice for Stay-at-Home Moms
Being a stay-at-home mom is wonderful – but it can be incredibly scary when you choose to (or when your spouse files for) divorce. When you don’t have your own source of income, or when you’re not sure what the job market holds for you, it can all seem overwhelming. However, you can follow these five tips to help make things easier on yourself:
- Gather financial documents.
- Find out what your assets are worth.
- Get familiar with your credit score.
- Plan to return to work.
- Think about asking for alimony.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these so you can be as prepared as possible.
#1. Gather financial documents.
Pull together all the financial documents you have. One of the best pieces of divorce advice for stay-at-home moms is to keep records of everything – including things like:
- Pay stubs
- Loan and mortgage documents
- Insurance policies
- Bank statements
- Investment account statements
- W2s from previous years
- Tax returns from previous years
When you have as many financial documents as you can get, keep them all organized in a folder. Later, if you choose to ask the court for alimony, you may need to provide proof of your family’s income – and your spouse may not be as truthful as you will.
#2. Find out what your assets are worth.
Maybe you want to continue living in your marital home after the divorce. That’s fine, but no matter what you intend to do, you need to find out how much it’s worth. That’s because divorce is financially tough on many couples – and you may not be able to keep it. It’s often a good idea to get the house appraised before your divorce so you know how much it’ll be worth if you have to sell it, and so you can prepare to divide the cash or come up with the remainder of what you owe.
If you have other assets, you should also find out what they’re worth.
#3. Get familiar with your credit score.
Use a site like CreditKarma to keep up with your credit score. You may need to apply for credit during or after your divorce, and the better your score is, the more likely you are to get favorable rates and terms. If there are things you need to fix on your credit report, now is the time to do it.
#4. Plan to return to work.
Another great piece of divorce advice for stay-at-home moms is to start planning to return to work. While a judge may award you alimony (commonly called spousal support), it’s not likely to last forever – and even if it would last forever, it may not be enough to support yourself in the lifestyle you want. A lot of stay-at-home moms end up going back to work during or after divorce, and you may be one of them. Brush up your resume and start looking at jobs that are available – and remember, even if they’re outside your field, they’re still worth considering when you really need to work.
#5. Think about asking for alimony.
You don’t have to ask the court for alimony, but your Stockton divorce attorney might suggest that you do. If the judge sees that you’ve been out of the workforce for a significant amount of time, and that you’re unlikely to be able to return to work right away because you need to get current on your skills, he or she may order your spouse to pay alimony. There are never any guarantees on how a judge will rule, but if you can show a need, the judge in your case may agree that you need – and deserve – spousal support.
Are You a Stay-at-Home Mom Considering Divorce?
If you’re thinking about divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we may be able to help you. We’ll give you more specific divorce advice for stay-at-home moms, plus case-specific advice that helps you in your unique situation.
Call us right away at (209) 546-6870 or get in touch with a Stockton divorce attorney online to schedule a consultation today.