During divorce, can you think of anyone one more at a disadvantage than stay-at-home moms. Since many of these women have been away from the workforce for a while, they are less likely going to be able to finance their newly single status, especially with children. This disadvantage is evident as soon as the divorce process begins. Therefore, it is so important to get organized as quickly as you can because the faster you can get your things in order, the safer your financial future could become.
Here are some tips to think about:
- Documentation plays a big role when it comes to working towards a favorable divorce settlement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Attorneys, mediators, and certified divorce financial analysts will more than likely request a variety of documents so that they can have a clear picture of your current marital finances. You want to make sure that you have copies of tax returns from previous years, income statements, bank statements, insurance policies, loan and mortgage details, and any information regarding investment accounts.
- It is no secret that divorce can be expensive and since many stay-at-home moms lack access to marital funds, accessing those funds is a critical first step in finding a way around this problem. Some women secretly stash cash away from the eyes of your spouse. You may also want to take advantage of learning about your marital finances while you can. Find a way to get the most realistic picture of your current finances. This can include looking at bank statements, tax returns, or any other financial documents you find lying around.
- If there is a chance that you have some sense about what your expenses are as a married couple. Whether it’s mortgage (or rent) payments, utility bills, Wi-Fi and phone bills, and many other essentials of daily life are going to need to reflect two separate households. At this point, you’ll need to come up with a realistic expectation of your monthly expenses. Child support isn’t going to cover all your expenses.
- Make a list of the items, assets, and other details that are the most important to you in the divorce settlement. They should include tangible items, like any sentimental items and family heirlooms. This also includes figuring things regarding visitation, custody rights, and co-parenting solutions. When you have a list upfront, this allows you to focus on the bigger picture, instead of getting stuck on the minor details of the negotiation process.
- It is completely reasonable for stay-at-home moms to want to keep the marital home, usually for sentimental value or to maintain some form of a stable routine for their children. Unfortunately, this may not be a practical choice because unless your new budget allows it, you could find that keeping the marital home is not sensible. To determine the home’s actual value, you will need to have it appraised. You can then use this important information to start planning the amount of money that is needed for you and your spouse to pay off your shared debt or divide the funds.
- If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for a while, there’s a chance that you have not been using your name and other information to apply for credit. This situation will make things hard, especially when it comes time for you to make another major purchase that where you will need financing. You can easily find out your current credit score with online tools like Credit Karma. Depending on what you score is, this is what indicates whether you’ll be eligible for a new mortgage, auto loan, or even for renting an apartment. A low credit score can be improved over time and the first step is to open a line of credit in your own name. Contact a lender at your local bank to see if you can find someone who is willing to issue you a small line of credit.
- Even if you receive child support or alimony, you’re probably going to have to start earning your own money sooner than later. The quicker you re-enter the workforce and start earning money, the quicker you’ll be able to secure yourself financially. Contact your network: you friends and any former coworkers. Let them know the type of work you want to do and ask them to keep an eye out for you. Even if you’re not ready or able to jump back into working in the corporate world full-time, look for short-term and part-time gigs.
Getting a divorce is a huge life change, and you’ve got a list of things to do. Here at Shaffer Family Law in Chandler, our attorneys will be with you every step of the way. If you’ve been staying home and taking care of your children, you deserve competent legal assistance. This also applies to stay-at-home dads as well! Call us today at (480) 470-3030.