As a stay-at-home parent, you face unique challenges during your divorce and have many additional concerns for the future.
If you left a career or did not receive an education to care for your family, your decision impacts your ability to earn an income immediately following your marital split.
Your contribution to the marriage
Your choice to stay home and provide child care for your family involves many sacrifices that affect your ability to support yourself financially. However, it is crucial to understand that your work as a homemaker contributes to the marital estate. The job you have been doing enabled your spouse to focus on career goals and increase earning potential. Missouri is an equitable distribution state, so courts divide marital property in a fair but not necessarily equal manner. Your contribution as your children’s full-time caregiver is a key consideration.
Your spousal support options
Many stay-at-home parents choose not to divorce because they are afraid they cannot support themselves. However, Missouri laws help protect spouses in this situation with alimony and child support payments. With various levels of spousal support available, it is vital to know your options during your divorce. Your maintenance type and duration depend upon your ability to gain future employment. You may receive:
- Temporary alimony to cover necessities during the divorce process
- Rehabilitative support to help you get an education, obtain skills or look for a new career
- Long-term maintenance to support you if you spent most of your life as a homemaker
When you care for your home and children full time, you provide many essential services that allow your spouse to dedicate more time to earning income. As an equitable distribution state, Missouri looks at the circumstances of your marriage to determine a fair settlement for both parties.