Can Stay-at-Home Dads Receive Child Support and Spousal Maintenance?

Arlington Heights stay-at-home dad divorce lawyerIn the past, it has been common for stay-at-home moms to be awarded child support and spousal support in a divorce. While this is still often the case, stay-at-home dads are becoming increasingly common. The Pew Research Center reports that in 2016, approximately 17 percent of stay-at-home parents in the U.S. were men, while dads only made up 10 percent of stay-at-home parents in 1989. In general, men are also more involved in caring for their children now than they have been in the past.

When you consider these statistics, along with the fact that many women are now their family’s primary breadwinner, it is understandable that many stay-at-home dads would seek financial support from their former spouse after a divorce. Fortunately, Illinois law makes this possible, and an experienced attorney can help to make it a reality.

Who Receives Child and Spousal Support in Illinois?

According to Illinois law, child support is almost always ordered when divorcing parents have children under the age of 18. Support obligations are calculated based on each parent’s monthly income, and the percentage of parenting time that each parent has also factors into the calculation. In many cases, stay-at-home dads have a lesser income than their working spouse, and they may be granted more parenting time to maintain the children’s accustomed routine. When this is the case, the calculation may result in the father being the recipient of child support.

Spousal support, also called maintenance or alimony, is not always awarded in a divorce, but a stay-at-home dad may have a case for spousal support due to the likely imbalance in income and earning potential, at least temporarily, after a divorce. When deciding whether to order spousal support, courts also consider contributions made to the marriage including domestic duties, parenting responsibilities, and support for the other spouse’s career or education. An attorney can help you present your perspective to the court to show that you have a financial need that justifies maintenance payments so that you can maintain the standard of living you were accustomed to during your marriage.

Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

Although gender roles are changing, stay-at-home dads still may face challenges when attempting to protect their interests during the divorce process. If you need assistance, an experienced Rolling Meadows family lawyer at the Cosley Law Office can provide qualified legal advice and skilled representation. Contact us today at 847-253-3100 for a free consultation.



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