In a recent post, we discussed how getting a divorce can potentially impact your career – and vice versa. However, what about people who dedicate their time to parenting? How can a divorce have an impact on you as a stay-at-home parent?
Stay-at-home parents may worry that they will end up with nothing if they choose to divorce, but that is a common misconception. While a divorce will affect their lives and livelihoods, it is important to understand how.
Here is a brief look at how the job of stay-at-home parenting is considered in a divorce.
Caretaking is a full-time job
It may not earn financial income, but being a parent is a full-time job – even more so for a stay-at-home parent. This fact is not overlooked in divorce proceedings. The share of caretaking you and your spouse take on within the household can potentially affect many aspects of your divorce, including:
- Child custody arrangements, considering the parent-child relationships and time devoted to childcare
- Child support agreements, considering the division of parenting time and responsibilities
- Property division, considering your contributions and how you maintain and improve the family home
The custody arrangement might mean a change in your parenting time and, in turn, your full-time job. That is why some sources suggest that stay-at-home parents should consider returning to the workforce after a divorce. However, this will depend on your individual circumstances.
But what about your finances?
Divorce will bring change to your life. However, there are many rules and structures in place to prevent too much change. For example, the standard of living you are accustomed to will make a big difference as you negotiate the terms of your divorce. This includes:
- The material comforts and services you had during the marriage
- The level of income and spending power you had during the marriage
Your standard of living will mainly play a role in filing for and determining alimony and child support. Alimony depends on many other factors under North Carolina law, but the standard of living and earning ability of each spouse are significant variables. You will have to organize and prepare your finances as you approach a divorce, but it is not likely that the divorce will overturn the financial stability you have today.
This is a basic overview of some of the primary ways a divorce can affect the financial life of a stay-at-home parent. The details will vary case by case. It is worth your time seeking legal advice if you are facing a divorce in these cases.