Lisa L. JohnsonAttorney at law
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Divorce And Family Law Issues

Stay-at-home parents: Don’t downplay your marital contributions

Staying at home to raise your children and take care of the home can feel like a privilege, a sacrifice or an inevitability, depending on your situation. But regardless of how you feel about staying home, in the event of a divorce, it can feel like a disadvantage.

Stay-at-home spouses can be scared that they will be penalized or shortchanged for not making significant financial contributions to the marriage. However, before you start to worry or panic if you are in this situation, understand that non-financial contributions are just as valid as financial contributions when it comes to property division during a Kentucky divorce.

Non-financial contributions to consider

  • Teaching babies and children new skills
  • Providing transportation for the family
  • Keeping a home safe and clean
  • Shopping for household necessities
  • Researching new purchases, care options and repair services
  • Cooking and meal planning
  • Providing emotional support while a spouse attends school or training
  • Managing household finances and budgets
  • Relocating when a spouse’s job changes

These and similar responsibilities contribute to the well-being of the children as well as the earning power of the other spouse, making them critical contributions to the marriage. In other words, even though stay-at-home parents don’t collect a paycheck, many still make an equitable contribution to their marriage as the spouse who does get paid.

Don’t forget about alimony

Stay-at-home parents might also be wise to consider their options for alimony, or spousal maintenance. If you will not be able to support yourself after divorce, then the courts may grant an order for spousal maintenance.

Protecting yourself after divorce

It is important for people to understand that divorce is not just about money. Many aspects of a marriage will come into play with regard to property division, child custody and spousal support, so it is important that you not downplay or overlook the non-financial elements of your marriage.

That being said, financial stability after divorce is a top priority for most people. If you stayed at home raising your kids and you are getting divorced, it is important that you have on your side an attorney who can help you secure the fair settlement you deserve.

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