If you are a stay-at-home parent, getting a divorce presents additional challenges. Without an income, you may wonder if you can afford to divorce your spouse.
You have many disadvantages during the process, making it critical to understand your options and your rights under the law. Prepare for your divorce by addressing the following areas and tasks.
Assess the value of your marital estate
Collect any documents that help determine the value of your assets and debts. Make copies of any records you can access, including:
- Pay stubs and W2 forms
- Bank account statements
- Tax returns
- Mortgage and loan records
- Investment documents
- Retirement and insurance account information
Request payment of attorney fees
The law aims to ensure you have adequate legal representation to settle your divorce. In some cases, courts rule that the working spouse must pay the legal fees of the stay-at-home partner. A judge may also award attorney fees if the other spouse creates unnecessary complications that lead to extra expenses.
Understand your debts and expenses
List your regular bills, including mortgage payments, utility bills, groceries and other recurring costs. You must know the amount you need to live on your own.
Seek temporary alimony
If you choose to live apart from your spouse during the divorce process, you may request temporary alimony to cover your living expenses. If the court grants your request, you can receive financial support while applying for jobs or returning to school.
If you have not been working for a while, becoming financially independent may take some time. Know your rights under the law to help you prepare for your divorce and future.