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3 Tips for Moving on as a Stay-at-Home Parent in an Illinois Divorce

 Posted on January 09, 2020 in Divorce

Cook County divorce attorney for stay-at-home parentsStatistics show that many marriages end in divorce. Once you and your spouse make the decision to part ways, there are several issues you will need to resolve. Some of these include the division of marital assets (and debt), child support, and spousal maintenance. In some cases, one spouse may have stayed home to raise the couple’s children. In other scenarios, both parents might have pursued careers. For stay-at-home moms or dads, it can be difficult to imagine a new life as a single parent, which often means finding a job to make ends meet. However, there are ways to cope with this major life transition, and you will want to make sure you have the financial resources you need after your divorce. 

Consider the Best Housing Situation 

Depending on the allocation of parental responsibilities in a divorce, one parent may be able to stay in the marital home. This can often help ease the transition, allowing the children to remain in the house they lived in during the marriage. However, as a parent who did not work while raising your kids, home ownership can pose a significant financial burden. Making a large mortgage payment every month can seem overwhelming, and you will also be responsible for property taxes, utilities, and upkeep of your home. If you are awarded spousal support, this may allow you to cover your monthly bills, but it may be more financially feasible to sell the house. This will allow both you and your ex-spouse to receive a portion of the profits from the sale. Moving to a new residence may be a first step in beginning a new chapter for everyone.  

Understand Your Finances

It is imperative that you have a firm grasp of your financial situation during and after your divorce. You will want to know what kinds of bank or retirement accounts you and your spouse have and who is listed as the account owner. By obtaining this financial information, you can ensure that you fully understand the extent of your marital assets, allowing you to receive the property and assets you are entitled to.

If you were a stay-at-home parent for many years, you might not have any credit in your name, or you could have a poor credit rating, especially if your spouse recklessly spent and dissipated assets. A poor credit score can lead to difficulty in renting an apartment or obtaining a new mortgage. Having a higher credit score allows you to secure loans at better interest rates. During divorce, you can start rebuilding your credit by opening up a credit card and purchasing small items. Pay the balance off each month or set up auto pay to ensure that you are not late or delinquent.

Explore Possible Career Options 

Although you may have traded in your career for child-rearing duties, it is possible to reenter the workforce. At some point, your kids are going to grow up and leave the nest, so having your own job is key to gaining your independence. Pursuing a part-time job first might be an easier way to find out what kind of occupation matches your skill set. Working nights or weekends can also allow you to work around your children’s schedules, depending on their ages. Perhaps going back to school for a different degree may help with your goal of achieving financial freedom. You may want to ask friends or family members about potential career opportunities that may be a good fit for you. 

Contact an Oak Park Divorce Attorney

The end of your marriage can be devastating for both you and your children. The thought of starting over can be daunting, especially if you are a stay-at-home parent. That is why it is essential to seek professional legal counsel to ensure that you can receive what you are entitled to in your divorce settlement. Wakenight & Associates, P.C. has more than 95 years of combined experience in divorce and family law matters. Our skilled Cook County divorce attorneys can help you successfully move on to the next chapter of your life. Call our office today at 708-848-3159 to schedule your free consultation. 


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