Divorce is a challenge for all involved, but it can be particularly difficult for stay-at-home parents. Often out of the workforce for many years and financially dependent on their Florida spouse, they will often need to make major changes after the end of their marriage.
Early preparation can help
Preparation might come even before divorce is a consideration. Stay-at-home parents should open a bank account in their own name, where they can save money steadily and slowly. While this is something that can be helpful even during marriage, it will become indispensable during a divorce. As well, as the stay-at-home parent begins to see signs of divorce as a possibility, they should begin preparing by gathering evidence of their assets and lifestyle. These documents might include:
- Mortgage records
- Life, home and auto insurance policies
- Tax returns, W2s and other evidence of income, such as paystubs
- Utilities and services bills
- Bank account numbers, log-in information and statements
The divorce process
While some couples end up fighting their divorce battle in court, this route can be expensive and time-consuming. For stay-at-home parents, the expense of a court battle might not be worth it, particularly if they depend on limited funds. However, they might consider other options, which can be less costly, such as mediation, and which gives both spouses more control over their decisions. A stay-at-home parent might also negotiate for alimony, or spousal support, as they have been financially supported by their spouse for a while. However, depending on their age and their ability to become employed, alimony might only be temporary.
Life post-divorce might include many changes for a stay-at-home parent, including having to give up that status to rejoin the workforce. It also often means moving out of the family home to a more affordable one and making major adjustments to their lifestyle.