When you decided to take time away from your career and become a stay-at-home mom, you did so because you cared about your kids and wanted to spend more time with them. Most likely, you didn’t think about how that decision would impact you if you got divorced. Yet here you are: after 10 years at home, you are facing a divorce. You’re not sure how you’re going to move forward, nor what kind of money you’ll receive in your divorce settlement.

Stay-at-home moms face a lot of challenges, uncertainty and changes in a divorce. You need to take the following steps, so you are prepared for the hurdles you’ll face in the coming months:

  1. Get organized. You’ll need to gather the following financial documentation so you can prove what your standard of living has been over the past few years:
  • W-2s
  • Bank statements
  • Mortgage and other loan information
  • Insurance information
  • Investment account statements, including your spouse’s 401K
  1. Hire an experienced divorce attorney. You want to find an attorney who has helped stay-at-home moms in other divorce cases, someone who knows what assets you might be entitled to under Connecticut’s equitable distribution rules. You also want to consult your attorney about whether you should file for spousal support.
  2. Establish your own credit. You may need to get an apartment or townhome on your own in the coming months or buy a vehicle. You want to establish your own credit by applying for credit cards in your name only, so you have an updated credit history when you need it.
  3. Establish your own bank accounts. You’ll need your own separate bank account as you get closer to finalizing your divorce. Setting that up now can allow you to begin to save for your post-divorce life.
  4. Create a post-divorce budget. You want to make sure you understand what essential costs you may need to cover after you divorce. Creating a new budget will be your first step toward that.
  5. Update your resume, start networking and consider getting additional training. Getting a new job after spending years outside the workforce isn’t easy. You want to start that process now, even enrolling in additional school or training programs if you need those to pursue a new career.

Facing a divorce as a stay-at-home mom can feel overwhelming. By taking the steps above, and with the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney, you can move forward in the best way to secure your future.