In the United States, the cost of child care has continued to rise with over 30% of families spending 20% of their income on child care alone. When combined with the cost of housing, the average American family with children can expect to spend 57% of their annual income on child care and housing. With the cost of child care rivaling the cost of college, the number of stay-at-home parents in the United States has started to increase. Though some parents who stay at home are able to work from home, others must rely on the income provided by their spouse. When a marriage ends, a stay-at-home parent could find him or herself in a difficult position and should focus on avoiding some of the biggest divorce mistakes made by divorcing stay-at-home parents.
Taking the Outcome for Granted
After sacrificing a career, education, or other income earning opportunities in order to save the household money by staying home to raise the children, a parent might incorrectly assume that the legal system will protect him or her. Ideally the court will award you a fair settlement and your spouse will agree to give you what you are entitled, but in reality, there are no laws that force the legal system to treat you fairly. It is entirely possible that your spouse will fight to avoid paying any form of support, fight to prevent you from keeping marital property, and attempt to take custody of your children. Without an attorney willing to fight back on your behalf, you could find yourself in a nightmarish situation.
Thinking Your Spouse Will Pay All Legal Fees
A person with no source of income suddenly thrown into a divorce may assume that his or her working spouse will pay all legal fees. Unfortunately, you are going to be responsible for paying your own legal fees, and retaining a qualified attorney is not cheap. The attorney you retain will be hiring forensic accountants to make sure your spouse is not hiding assets, responding to your spouse’s attorney, filing motions on your behalf, attending court, and much more. You will be required to pay a deposit, and though you might later receive reimbursement, initially you are responsible for obtaining the money needed to get an attorney working on your behalf.
Refusing to Communicate with Your Spouse
Divorce is hurtful and often occurs when you least expect it to, making it difficult to communicate with your spouse. The idea of communicating solely through attorneys is something many people fixate on, and while this is possible, it is not recommended. Refusing to communicate with your spouse to reach a settlement makes your divorce last longer and the process more expensive for both parties. Agreeing to mediation may be necessary to facilitate a more attractive settlement, resolve custody issues, and avoid multiple court hearings.
Contact an Attorney Immediately
If your spouse has filed for divorce and you are a stay-at-home parent with no income, contact an alimony and spousal support attorney immediately. The legal team at Vayman & Teitelbaum are able to answer your questions and work with you to ensure you get the settlement you deserve. Contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our Atlanta, Georgia offices today.