Divorce can be an especially stressful time as a stay-at-home mom who has dedicated the past few years to raising kids and taking care of the family. By taking time away from their work life, they may be at a disadvantage. This is because it could be hard going back or relearning certain job-skills to make them competitive in the workplace again.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a beautiful way to raise your kids and fill the day with the various stresses and rewards of family care. However, It should not keep you from reaching your financial goals and well-being during a time of divorce.
Divorce & The Stay-At-Home Mom
Get all of your financial documents together:
This includes W2s and tax returns from previous years, income statements including pay stubs, insurance policies, bank statements, details about loans and mortgages, and investment accounts. This will help the attorney understand your financial quality of life over the past few years to ensure that a divorce does not keep you from providing the same financial wellbeing to you and your children moving forward.
Gain access to funds:
You will need access to your marital account to pay for the finances of divorce. Hiring an attorney to represent you is critical so that you can secure your lifestyle after the process has completed. If you lack access to a joint account, you will need to create an individual fund from savings where you can make payments for the representation you need.
Craft a new budget:
Take the time to sit down one day and realistically draw up a budget based on how much is spent monthly on food, clothing, a mortgage on the house, utility bills, phone bills, and other necessities. This will create an outline of what is to be expected to keep supporting your kids and family.
Know what the marital house is worth:
Although you may want to continue living in the marital home for sentimental value to you and your kids, a divorce already stretches you and your spouse financially. It may be wise to have the house appraised and to know how much it is worth. In this way, if the budget needs to be limited, you can always sell the property and downsize to keep paying the bills for necessary items.
Get a handle on your credit:
You can find out your credit score on sites such as Credit Karma. Having a good credit score will allow lenders to feel more confident in lending the funds you need for mortgages on homes, cars, etc. One way to improve your credit score is to pay off student loans from the past. Remember, on credit cards you should never use more than 30% of your available credit line. Also, always pay bills on time, so you do not accumulate a hefty interest fee.
Plan to return to work:
Having a job gives you a chance to set up an individual account and to grant you the financial freedom you need to cover extra expenses. Make a resume with your most up-to-date skills and go on interviews in various industries. If you have already made a budget for yourself, you will know what salary to aim for at the end of each month.
Consider requesting temporary alimony:
If a judge determines that you have been at home for an extended period of time and cannot return to work right away because you do not have immediate skills, he/she will request that your ex-spouse give temporary alimony to cover the lifestyle you have been accustomed to over the years. If no prenuptial agreements were arranged before the marriage, you might be entitled to part of your ex-spouse’s funds.
Hire a team of qualified professionals:
By finding the perfect divorce attorney to represent you, you can come to court prepared to know that you have someone there who understands your needs and where you are coming from. In hiring a team, it is essential to look for someone who has the experience, shows compassion, and has a good reputation for winning settlements in favor of the client’s requests.
Hiring a lawyer to represent you can bring a feeling of felt relief. Having someone on your side to provide knowledge and skills that deliver is an essential reason for hiring a lawyer. Being a stay at home mom while going through a divorce can be stressful and difficult, but you can stay ahead of the game and keep prepared by following this guideline and meeting a lawyer sooner rather than later!
This post first appeared on DivorcedMoms.com