How Will a Divorce Affect a Homemaker or Stay-At-Home Parent in Illinois?
Ending a marriage is difficult no matter who you are, but those getting divorced after not working outside of the home in many years face added challenges. If you are considering divorce and are a homemaker or stay-at-home mother or father, you probably have many questions. Will I be awarded spousal support even if I initiate the divorce? How can I find a job to support myself without work experience? Will I receive additional child support because I do not have a job?
The answer to many of these questions will depend on your unique circumstances. If you are a stay-at-home parent or have otherwise not worked outside of the home and plan to divorce, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
You May Qualify for Spousal Maintenance
When deciding whether or not to award spousal maintenance, Illinois courts consider many factors. These include, but are not limited to:
- Any preexisting premarital or prenuptial agreement
- The duration of the marriage and standard of living established during the marriage
- Each party’s financial circumstances including their income, property, debt, current employment, and future earning capacity
- Any impairment to the earning capacity of a spouse caused by time spent raising children
- Any loss of career and/or educational opportunities a spouse experienced because of the marriage
- Non-financial contributions a spouse made to the other’s career advancement or education
- The age and health of each party
Illinois is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that your ability to get spousal maintenance is not related to why the marriage ended or who initiated the divorce.
Make Sure You Gather Important Financial Documents
Often, one spouse in a marriage does the majority of finance management while the other takes on other roles. If you are out of the loop regarding your family’s financial situation, you could be at a serious disadvantage during the divorce. This disadvantage is especially concerning if your spouse is not cooperative or might try to hide income or assets. While you can, make sure to gather pay stubs, income statements, credit card statements, tax returns, documentation of any debts, retirement plan information, real estate documents, estate planning documents, and any other relevant financial information. Being informed about your current financial situation is one of the best things you can do to prepare for divorce.
Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Family Law Attorney
At our firm, we do everything we can to protect the rights of our clients who dedicated their efforts to raising children and/or maintaining the home. Our team has many decades of combined family law experience, and we have helped numerous stay-at-home parents and homemakers obtain very favorable outcomes in their divorce cases. For sound legal guidance from a knowledgeable Wheaton divorce lawyer, contact MKFM Law. Call 630-665-7300 to schedule a confidential, one-on-one consultation today.