Illinois child support lawyerWhile women may be entering the workforce more than ever (and often outearning their spouses in the process), many families still opt to have one parent stay at home while their children are very young. The high cost of childcare, a desire to spend a child’s most tender years together, or a simple lack of available local options may make a stay-at-home parent not only desirable but necessary. 

But there is no question that, especially in unhealthy marriages, a spouse who does not earn an income of her own can be put at a disadvantage when it comes time to divorce. When one or both spouses decide the marriage is at an end, the spouse who has spent the last many years being a full-time parent may feel panic, fear, or confusion about how they will be able to pay for an Illinois divorce. For homemaker spouses getting a divorce, here are five tips that may help you manage your finances more easily. 

Seek Child Support and Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

Judges are willing to award some spouses interim child support and spousal maintenance, which is alimony while the divorce is ongoing. This can ensure the non-working spouse and the children are not left homeless and hungry before the divorce is finalized. However, spousal maintenance tends not to be awarded as much or for as long as it used to be, so do not depend on long-term spousal maintenance to support yourself after divorce. 

Seek Assistance Programs

While many parents are understandably reluctant to take benefits they feel they may neither need nor deserve, the social safety net exists for a reason. There are organizations that help parents pay for groceries and work to ensure children have food, school supplies, and health insurance. Seek out aid programs in your area and take advantage of them for as long as you need to. 

Look for a Job

Most full-time parents do not intend to remain out of the workforce forever. Start seeking work that allows a flexible schedule so you can still care for your children; perhaps a part-time job with shifts while children are at school would be helpful. Start seeking training, degrees, or certifications that will help you raise your income and improve your future prospects. 

Budget Carefully

During your marriage, you may never have needed to set a firm budget and stick to it. But if anything is almost certain during divorce, it is that money gets tighter and having a budget is important. Compile an honest assessment of your monthly expenses and look for ways you can cut down, even if it means giving certain things up for a while. 

Improve Your Credit

If you have not been working for several years, you may not have any loans or assets under your name. Start making small steps towards building credit, like having a small, secured credit card or working with companies that allow your rent and utilities to count towards your credit score. 

Get Help from a Hinsdale, IL Divorce Attorney

The experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys with Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio have helped many homemakers and stay-at-home parents successfully pursue divorce. We understand the common concerns individuals have in these situations and are always willing to take your unique circumstances and preferences into consideration as we help you craft a divorce strategy that makes sense for you. Call us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.