The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Steps Stay-at-Home Parents Should Take When Filing for Divorce

Posted on in Spousal Support

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,When you are going through a divorce as a stay-at-home parent, you often have different things to worry about than if you were a working parent. Most of the time, stay-at-home parents sacrificed their careers or education to stay home and take care of the children. This can be problematic for them because stay-at-home parents typically rely on the income of their spouse to support the family. When you get a divorce, you find yourself being put into a situation where you must re-enter the workforce with little or outdated education and large gaps in your employment history. In these situations, spousal maintenance is used as a tool to keep you on your feet. Here are five steps you should take when you are a stay-at-home parent who is getting a divorce.

Gather All of Your Financial Documents

First things first -- you need to have all paperwork on your finances ready to present to a divorce lawyer. These documents can include:

  • Tax returns and W2’s from the previous three to five years;
  • Bank statements, including information on both checking and savings accounts;
  • Mortgage documents;
  • Vehicle titles;
  • Retirement account statements;
  • Credit card statements; and
  • Investment account statements.

Ensure You Have Access to Your Money

Some stay-at-home parents find that they do not have regular access to their family’s funds. If this is the case, you should make sure that you begin saving small amounts of money here and there to build up a reserve. One way around letting your spouse know you are saving money is by asking for cash back when you are at stores. If you have reason to believe your spouse might be hiding money from you, you should tell your lawyer who can help you discover it.

Remake Your Budget

Divorce is expensive -- it’s no secret. Going through a costly divorce and having to support yourself after years of staying at home can wreak havoc on your finances. Creating a balanced budget is one way you can help yourself be financially secure after your divorce. Try not to take into account any spousal maintenance payments or child support payments until those are final.

Start Looking for a Job

The truth of the matter is that even though you have been a stay-at-home parent for a length of time, you will more than likely have to return to the workforce after your divorce. You cannot expect to survive on spousal maintenance alone, which is not even guaranteed to you. Prepare yourself by looking for a job now and putting together an updated resume and list of references.

Hire a Compassionate DuPage County Divorce Attorney

One of the most important things you can do as a stay-at-home parent is hire a competent, yet compassionate Aurora, IL divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we understand the troubles that a stay-at-home parent faces when getting a divorce. We can help you throughout the divorce process, from filing the initial paperwork to negotiating a spousal maintenance schedule. Contact our office today to set up a consultation by calling 630-409-8184.


The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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