How to Prepare for a Divorce If You’re a Stay-at-Home Parent
You stayed home to care for your children while your spouse went to work to support your family. This arrangement may have worked well during your marriage, but you may worry about your future if you get divorced. How will you support yourself after being out of the workforce? Will your children be okay if you go back to work? Will your divorce lawyer listen to your concerns and support your priorities during the divorce process?
All of these questions can be answered. You do not have to stay in an unhappy marriage just because you are a stay-at-home mom or dad. Instead, you can take control of the divorce process with the help of a Bloomfield Hills family law attorney.
What You Can Do in Anticipation of Divorce
Now is the time to start preparing for your future if you think your spouse may file for divorce or you are considering initiating divorce proceedings.
Understand Your Financial Situation
Some stay-at-home parents are fully involved in the family’s financial decisions and others don’t know much about the family’s financial situation. Before you get divorced, you should make sure you have the following information for yourself and your spouse:
- Tax returns
- Insurance policies
- Bank account statements
- Investment account statements
- Loan and mortgage information
- Value of your home and other significant property (such as a vacation home or boat)
- Credit scores
Sometimes it isn’t easy to get this information. Your divorce lawyer can help you if you have any trouble getting it on your own.
Consider Going to Work
Many stay-at-home parents struggle with returning to work. You may feel unprepared, unqualified, or nervous about the change in your daily routine. Before you make the change, consider:
- The kind of work you want to do
- Updating your resume
- Your employable skills
- Your childcare needs
Together, these things may make going back to work a little bit easier.
Learn About Child Support and Spousal Support
Child support and alimony may be part of your Michigan divorce agreement. In preparation for a divorce, you may:
- Learn about child support. Both parents have a legal obligation to support minor children. The amount of child support that you may receive depends on your child custody agreement, your income, and your soon-to-be former spouse’s income.
- Consider spousal support. In Michigan, a court may approve temporary alimony, short-term alimony, or long-term alimony. Every situation is unique. Some of the factors that will be considered in a spousal support determination include the length of the marriage; the age, health, and needs of both spouses; each spouse’s employability and income; the standard of living you had during the marriage; and other factors that would lead to an equitable decision.
Get Ready for What Comes Next
Life will be different after your divorce. Instead of supporting one household, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse must support two households. Accordingly, now is a good time to:
- Think about your new budget. Consider your likely potential income, child support, and spousal support, and your expected expenses.
- Know what to expect next. Understand how the divorce process works and how to protect your rights.
- Get organized. Make sure you have copies of all important documents and financial records so that you minimize surprises during divorce proceedings.
- Share your priorities with your attorney. Let your lawyer know what is most important to you so that your priorities are reflected in settlement negotiations.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed: Contact an Experienced Michigan Divorce Lawyer for Help
You don’t have to do everything described above on your own. You may have a support network of family and friends ready to help you, and our Bloomfield Hills divorce lawyers are here to listen to your priorities, guide you through your options, and advocate for a fair divorce settlement.
We will provide the supportive, personal touch that you need during this transitional time in your life. Please send us a text message, call us, or complete our contact form to schedule a complimentary and confidential initial consultation.