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Wheaton Divorce Lawyer for Stay at Home Parents

DuPage County Law Firm Representing Stay at Home Parents in Divorce

West Chicago Divorce Lawyer Representing Stay at Home Parents

When a couple's relationship is breaking down, and divorce is in their future, parents who have chosen to stay at home to care for their children rather than pursuing a career may seem to be at a disadvantage. Uncertainty about their available options and their ability to provide for their family following divorce can make them especially vulnerable to bullying and coercion by the other spouse. However, even if a spouse does not currently earn an income, they still have equal rights in their divorce, and they should take steps to understand their legal options and protect those rights throughout the divorce process and beyond.

Temporary Relief During Divorce

During divorce, a stay at home parent may struggle to pay for their family's ongoing expenses or any other costs incurred during the process, such as attorney's fees or moving expenses. In these cases, they may need to petition the court for temporary support from their spouse. A petition for temporary relief can include requests for monetary support, and it can also ask the judge to decide how other issues will be handled while the divorce is ongoing, such as the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibility or possession of marital property or the marital home.

A petition for temporary financial support should include an affidavit showing why support is necessary, along with documentation such as pay stubs, bank balance statements, utility bills, credit card bills, medical bills, or any other relevant documents explaining a spouse's assets, income, and expenses. The judge will consider a variety of factors when deciding whether to award temporary relief, including:

  • Both parties' financial situations
  • The requesting party's need for support and the supporting party's ability to pay support
  • Both parties' ability to work
  • Both parties' age and state of health

Permanent Support Following a Divorce Decree

During divorce, spouses will work to reach a settlement detailing the terms of the divorce and the final decisions on issues such as child custody and the division of marital property. This settlement will specify any ongoing support, including:

  • Spousal maintenance (alimony) - Spousal support is not automatically granted to a stay at home parent, but the parties may agree on an amount and duration of maintenance/alimony, or they may leave the matter up to the discretion of the judge, who will base their decision on factors such as the length of the marriage, the parties' standard of living during the marriage, a stay at home parent's contributions to their family and to their spouse's career, and the ability of a stay at home parent to find a job.
  • Child support - A stay at home parent will be likely to seek primary physical custody of the parties' minor children, and if this request is granted, the other parent will be obligated to pay child support. Following changes to Illinois law that took effect in July 2017, the amount of child support payments will be calculated based on both parents' net incomes, and each parent's amount of parenting time and parental responsibility will also be considered.

Contact a Glendale Heights Divorce Attorney

The family law attorneys at Anderson and Associates, P.C. have over 30 years of experience providing legal counsel to spouses going through divorce, and we can work with you as a stay at home parent to ensure that you are able to meet your and your children's financial needs and provide a stable home environment for your family. To schedule an initial consultation, contact our Wheaton law office at 630-653-9400.

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