I am a Stay-at-Home Mother – How Can I Afford Divorce?

stay-at-homeA stay-at-home mother makes significant career sacrifices so they can do the neverending work of raising children and caring for a home. After years of no paid vacations and very little downtime, they may find themselves having worked hard but still unsure how to pay for a divorce. Stay-at-home mothers often remain in untenable situations for too long because they do not know how to get out.

Illinois law recognizes that such a situation could arise for homemakers. That is why Illinois allows for interim spousal maintenance (formerly known as “alimony”) that can help support the stay-at-home spouse during a divorce. With effective legal representation, you can get divorced as a homemaker.

File for Temporary Spousal Maintenance

Courts want to recognize and encourage the efforts of mothers who do the important work of childrearing. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act allows spouses to petition for temporary financial support by filing a motion and providing a financial affidavit that details the mother’s financial situation. This includes both spouse’s incomes, if applicable, expenses, and savings.

Because temporary maintenance orders are meant to protect a financially disadvantaged spouse during divorce, the court’s willingness to grant temporary spousal maintenance, and the amount it will grant, will depend on whether the mother already has an education and work experience and how long she has been out of the workforce. The court can also consider arrangements regarding the children when determining maintenance payments. Every case is unique.

Ensure Accurate and Honest Financial Disclosure

Unfortunately, spouses will sometimes try to use divorce proceedings as a way to act out their hostilities towards their partner. It is very important to be honest and forthcoming in a financial affidavit when applying for temporary spousal maintenance because if a court believes that a spouse is representing their finances in a deliberately misleading way that is intended to increase spousal maintenance payments when they are not warranted, the court can order significant penalties. These penalties include paying for both spouses’ attorney’s and court fees, as well as the possibility of additional financial sanctions.

Temporary Spousal Maintenance Does Not Indicate Future Payments

Long-standing spousal maintenance orders require a comprehensive financial analysis of both partners’ financial situations. The maintenance that is ordered during the divorce proceedings is not reflective of the maintenance that could be ordered after the divorce is finalized. Payments could be increased, decreased, or not ordered at all.

Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Attorney

Divorce is an option for people who worry they may not be able to afford it, no matter the reason. If you are a homemaker or stay-at-home mother and you need a divorce, schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Rolling Meadows divorce attorney at Cosley Law Office. Mr. Donald J. Cosley can help you create a plan that works with your financial situation and will advocate compassionately on your behalf. Contact us today at 847-253-3100.




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