Staying at home with your kids without having to juggle work and your parental duties may have come as a relief to you. You wanted to see every milestone your children reached, and your spouse earned a lucrative income that allowed you to focus all of your attention on raising the kids and managing the home. Now, the arrangement that once brought you so much joy may be causing you anxiety as you head for divorce.
As a stay-at-home parent, you gained the joy of being there for your kids, but you also lost out on years of earning your own income and on valuable work experience. The divorce may have you worried that you will struggle to make ends meet when you do not have your spouse’s full income to live on. What can you do?
Though you are a stay-at-home parent, it does not mean that you are incapable of getting your financial affairs in order. In fact, you may know the ins and outs of the household funds better than your income-earning spouse. Still, at this time, preparation could help you get ahead when it comes to working toward a divorce outcome that works in your favor. Some steps to consider include the following:
- Inventory your assets and liabilities to know what you have to work with.
- Obtain important financial documents, like bank account statements, tax returns, loan documents and retirement account information.
- Go over the family budget to determine what you may need to address when living on your own.
- Understand what you consider essential and how you can work to reach those goals, which could include obtaining custody of the kids, keeping the house or gaining a hefty alimony payment.
- Consider your job options. Even if you do obtain alimony and child support, you may still need to start generating your own income after the divorce.
While anxiety is certainly understandable at this time, it is important that you do not buckle under the feeling. You still have legal rights and options that could help you obtain a favorable divorce decree. Plus, you do not have to try to figure out all the details on your own. A California attorney could help assess the circumstances of your marriage and divorce, explain the rights you have and come up with a game plan for your case.