If you have been a stay-at-home mom throughout your marriage but are now going through a divorce, you may wonder if you can remain a stay-at-home mom after the divorce. While everyone’s factors and circumstances may differ, it may be time to consider whether you can afford to stay home and earn no income to support and provide for yourself and your children.
Actor Kevin Costner’s wife says she can no longer afford to stay at home after divorce
According to media reports, Kevin Costner’s wife, Christine Baumgartner, explained that she plans to re-enter the workforce after divorce. While she has spent years as a stay-at-home mom, she says staying home with her children is no longer possible. The child support she was originally supposed to receive from Kevin Costner ($129,755) was reduced by more than half in a recent court order. As a result, Baumgartner says that she will no longer be able to stay home and provide for their children financially with the child support amount that will be given. The day the new child support amount was ordered, Baumgartner stated that she would determine what steps she needed to pursue and what type of education she may need to go back to work.
Even though this is celebrity news, it is also an eye-opener for stay-at-home parents across New Jersey and the rest of the country. If you currently stay home with your children and are thinking about divorcing your spouse soon, you both may need to have a proper discussion and plan what you may do regarding working and taking care of the children once the divorce is finalized.
What Are the Rights of Stay-at-Home Parents in a New Jersey Divorce?
Regardless of whether or not a stay-at-home parent is bringing in any type of income, they are still huge contributors to a household. Therefore, when your ex-spouse challenges your worth, and the courts make you feel like you do not hold any value, it is important to know and remember your rights as a stay-at-home parent in a New Jersey divorce. Here are a few rights that you should keep in mind when going through this challenging process:
- Alimony and spousal support may be available to you:
Many people who have gone through the divorce process will likely tell you that alimony and spousal support payments are a thing of the past. This is not exactly true; receiving them is just more difficult. The main reason for this is that women who are stay-at-home moms typically cannot make the argument that they are unable to find work after a divorce. However, if you have spent decades married to your spouse, you are more likely to receive some type of financial support.
A few different alimony options may be considered during your divorce. The judge will look at how long you were married, how long you have been a stay-at-home parent, how much income your ex-spouse makes, and why you became a stay-at-home parent in the first place. Afterward, the judge will decide whether you should receive any spousal support. However, it is crucial to be prepared and know there is a good chance that you will still need to find a job even if you are awarded spousal support.
- New Jersey is an equitable distribution state:
New Jersey is one of the several equitable distribution states in the United States. All property, money, and assets earned or received throughout a marriage are marital property. Therefore, when going through a divorce, you should know that you are entitled to everything your spouse earned or received while you were a stay-at-home parent. The judge will distribute all marital property fairly. However, it is important to remember that “fairly” does not mean “equally,” many spouses who earned less during the marriage end up receiving less than the spouse who earned more.
- You can protect yourself legally and financially:
When you and your spouse begin discussing divorce, you can start placing money aside to hire a lawyer and prepare to protect yourself legally and financially. You may even want to start gathering documents and anything else that will help your attorney when it comes time to show the judge your financial situation and why the divorce is happening. Bank statements, tax returns, and loan documents benefit stay-at-home parents going through the divorce process.
5 Divorce Tips for New Jersey Stay-at-Home Parents
Here are five tips that every New Jersey stay-at-home parent should take into account when going through a divorce, including:
- Begin speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Work with financial experts and accountants to develop a budget for yourself.
- Collect and keep all financial information about you and your spouse in a safe place that can easily be accessed.
- Make plans to go back to school or enter the workforce shortly.
- Find out if temporary or permanent alimony/ spousal support is an option for you.
At the New Jersey Family Law Group, our family law attorneys greatly admire and respect stay-at-home parents. We know and understand that staying home and caring for your children daily is hard work. Therefore, our team will look into every possible option available to you during and after the divorce. We will ensure your future is secure and you have the resources to succeed.
What is the Difference Between a Stay-at-Home Parent and a Work-From-Home Parent – and Does it Matter?
Many people may have seen a stay-at-home parent and a work-from-home parent and think they are similar. While this may be true, there are some differences, such as:
- The stay-at-home parent’s job is to care for the children and home.
- The work-from-home parent brings in income to the household.
- The stay-at-home parent does not earn income.
- The work-from-home parent may send the children to daycare while they work.
- The stay-at-home parent’s schedule usually revolves around the needs of the children, spouse, and household.
- The work-from-home parent may have a normal business workday at home. This means that they likely have a designated office space within their home that they go to during business hours and work a set schedule.
It is critical to explain to your family law attorney whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a work-from-home parent. You should never mix these two titles up, as they can change the outcome of your divorce case. Although work-from-home parents may help out with the children throughout the day while they work, they still work a job from the comfort of their homes and bring money to the household, unlike stay-at-home parents. Your lawyer can review the differences and what they may mean legally for you, depending on your individual and unique situation. However, it is important to be aware that your circumstances could matter when determining if the house must be sold and several other marital property issues.
Protect What Matters Most
Call A New Jersey Family Law Attorney Today
Stay-at-home parents often have an overwhelming, frustrating, and stressful time when going through a divorce. Learning how to leave your routine and start overdoing something else is extremely challenging, especially when you lack financial security. That is where the New Jersey Family Law Group can step in and help you navigate this difficult and tricky process. We will review the marital property division and answer any questions about divorce and retirement benefits. Call 732-240-9555 or contact us online today, and we will stand up for your rights and help you create a plan for your future.
We serve clients throughout New Jersey.