Anderson & Boback Logo
divorce tips stay-at-home mom

HELP! I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom and Getting Divorced

Categorized as Divorce

If you have been married for several years and spent your married life as a stay-at-home mom taking care of your family and realize you are facing a divorce, there is no reason to panic.  Your efforts of caring for your home and family will not be ignored by the Court and is not discouraged by the laws in Illinois.  Every case, of course, is fact-specific and the outcome of your case will be dependent on the facts in your specific marriage.   As an example, a stay-at-home mom who has a Ph.D. and previous work history may likely have a different divorce outcome than a stay-at-home mom who has no advanced degree and no job experience.  The length of your marriage is also important, as in the previous example a stay-at-home mom who has been home for the past two years is likely to turn out differently than a stay-at-home mom who has been home for ten years.  

5 Tips for a Stay-at-Home Mom Facing Divorce

If you find yourself facing divorce as a stay-at-home mom, it is important to understand your family’s financial picture and plan for your future after the divorce.  It is important when going through a divorce to be able to articulate to your attorney and the court what your reasonable needs are, so it is important to begin an investigation as to what your needs have been in the past and how things may look in your future.  If you have overseen paying the bills and managing your marital finances, then you will have a good idea of where you stand and how much money it takes to run your household.  However, if you are not involved in the financial operations of your household then you will have to start doing some investigative work.

Divorce Tip #1:  Start gathering documents. 

The more information you can gather and share with your divorce attorney the better for you to work with your attorney in making decisions.  The important documents to get together are as follows:

  • Your personal tax returns (at least the last three years)
  • Paystubs if your spouse is a W-2 wage earner
  • If you and/or your spouse own a business you will need the business tax returns and other income statements relating to the business
  • Bank Statements 
  • Retirement and Investment Accounts
  • Mortgage and any other loan documents
  • Credit Cards Accounts (information and recent statements)
How to Plan for Your Divorce eBook cover
Download Our Divorce Planning Guide

Get the information you need to plan your divorce with confidence and ease your stress.

Divorce Tip #2: Prepare a budget. 

Know what you have been spending to run your household so that you can understand what you will need to continue living after you are divorced.   You need to know what you will need to know what to ask for as far as maintenance and child support from your spouse.  If you are going to be moving from the marital home, you should determine where you will likely be moving and do the research as to what is available and how much will it cost so that you can do an outline of a potential budget in your new home.  On the other hand, if you are going to plan on staying in the marital home the budget that you create will allow you to determine how much money you will need when your spouse is no longer in the house contributing to the expenses. 

Divorce Tip #3: Understand and know your credit score. 

You should immediately order a copy of your credit report from one of the key credit reporting agencies (Experian, etc.) and review the report in detail.  Make sure you are aware of all of the credit cards and debts listed and that the debts reflected on your credit report are being paid on time. If there are things on your credit report that you are unaware of you can work with your divorce attorney to make sure you obtain the supporting documents on those debts. You will need to make sure you can control your credit score moving forward.  If you do not have much on your credit score and need to increase your credit you can take steps to get your score up which will help you after the divorce when you will be applying for things based on your own income and your individual credit score. 

Divorce Tip #4: Decide how you would like things to look after the divorce and work with a qualified attorney to create a plan to get you there.  

What is most important to you and how to get there is a critical piece of the planning process.  You need to consider the following and rate in terms of importance:

Divorce Tip #5:  Think about returning to work and what that may look like. 

Do you need to go back to school for a degree, a certificate or training?  If so, you will want to research the availability of a college or program and the costs so that you can build that into your financial need.  If you are of an age where you can rehabilitate and become employable it is a good idea to think in terms of becoming self-supporting, but it will take some research and decisions about your future.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

What Is Child Support? Child support is the terminology used to describe the periodic or ongoing payments one parent makes to the other following a divorce to assist in raising their shared children. Child support is thus a combination of…

Wonder if your spousal maintenance is modifiable? This question was addressed in Scarp v. Rahman when the father in the case of sought to modify his maintenance obligation.  The trial court would not allow the modification so he sought an…

Birthdays are a big deal to kids - they usually get a party with their friends with cake, balloons, presents, and if they are lucky, a ball pit to jump into at Chucky Cheese! The day is all about them.…

Our firm represents a lot of military families and for the most part, handling a military divorce is just like any other divorce.  There are specific rules that need to be followed, however, and those parents in the military facing…

Changes to Spousal Maintenance Law in Illinois In 2019, a significant change in the tax code was made regarding maintenance, which resulted in spousal maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”, also known as “spousal support”) being tax-free to the recipient and…

Illinois has modified its statutes wherein parents are now allocated “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” instead of “custody”.  The purpose of these changes was to try and give the parents less to fight over.  You can win “custody” but winning…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870