No matter what your marital arrangements look like, parenting involves making significant sacrifices for your children. Unfortunately, some parents end up making major economic sacrifices to raise their children by staying home to provide childcare and then are left in a vulnerable position when they need to file for divorce. If you are in this situation, understanding your options for getting divorced is an important part of protecting yourself now and in the future.
Temporary Spousal Support
When only one spouse works outside the home, that spouse often ends up controlling most or all of a couple’s finances. That can make it very difficult for the stay-at-home spouse to know the family’s financial situation, to get money to move out or otherwise protect themself, or to feel empowered to hire an attorney to file for divorce.
Recognizing this, Illinois law does allow for the provision of temporary spousal support orders. However, these orders are not automatic and are not granted to every spouse filing for divorce; instead, a spouse needs to petition for temporary support and a judge will determine whether the circumstances merit an award. Some things the judge will consider include:
- The current financial arrangement between spouses
- Whether the spouse petitioning for temporary support has financial resources of their own
- Whether the working spouse has already agreed to support the other spouse during the divorce proceedings
- The financial needs of the spouse filing for temporary support (including attorney’s fees, child costs, and living expenses)
Any award that is granted during ongoing divorce proceedings is not indicative of whether or how much a spousal support award will be granted after the divorce is finalized. In general, Illinois courts encourage divorcing couples to reach their own agreement regarding property division and spousal support. When this is not possible, a judge may order mediation or make a determination for the couple.
It is important to understand that your status as a stay-at-home parent does not make you less entitled to the assets you and your spouse have contributed to your marriage. Illinois law requires assets and debts to be divided fairly, and your contributions to the family as a parent and homemaker are considered valuable and will be taken into consideration during the asset division process.
Call a Kane County, IL Divorce Lawyer for Stay-At-Home Parents
If you need to get out of your marriage but are restricted by finances because you do not work outside the home, contact the St. Charles, IL divorce attorneys with [[title]]. We have worked with many spouses who gave up career opportunities to raise children, and we will strive to make the law work in your favor. Call our offices today at [[phone]] to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We will not tell your spouse you are seeking a divorce and the details about your situation that you share with us will remain private.