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Important Financial Considerations for Stay-at-Home Divorcing Parents

Posted on in Divorce

Western Spring divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Leaving the workforce to become a full-time mother or father can be a huge advantage to your children as well as a risky career move. When you first decided to stay home with your children, you probably made the choice because it was in your children’s best interests. You placed your own professional goals on hold for the betterment of your family and trusted that your spouse’s income would sustain you. Now that you are facing the end of your marriage, you may have major concerns about the financial consequences brought on by the impending divorce. Fortunately, Illinois law provides several options that may help mitigate the negative financial effects of divorce for homemakers and stay-at-home mothers and fathers.

Non-Financial Contributions Are Considered 

Spousal maintenance refers to payments that the spouse with a higher income makes to the spouse with the lower income after divorce. If you and your spouse have already reached an agreement about maintenance through a valid prenuptial agreement, the court will likely uphold this agreement. If you do not have a marital agreement addressing maintenance, you have the right to petition the court for spousal maintenance. When deciding whether or not to award maintenance or alimony to a spouse, Illinois courts consider each spouse’s income and property, in addition to his or her needs. They also take into account any impairment to a spouse’s present and future earning capacity caused by child care obligations. The amount and duration of spousal maintenance is usually determined by statutory formula. If the combined yearly income of the spouses is greater than $500,000, the courts may deviate from the statutory formulas.

Illinois courts divide marital property equitably, or fairly, based on the spouse’s circumstances. When determining how to divide assets and property, Illinois courts consider factors such as the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s age and health, and each spouse’s financial circumstances. The contributions that a spouse made as a homemaker or parent are also considered.

Options for Temporary Relief During Divorce

Spouses without an income sometimes stay in a miserable marriage simply because they worry that they cannot afford a divorce. Fortunately, there are several options for temporary relief that are available to you before the divorce is finalized. If you can prove that you are at a financial disadvantage and that your spouse has the means to pay your attorney’s fees, you may petition the court to order him or her to help cover your attorney’s fees. You may also receive temporary orders for child support or spousal maintenance that will provide you with the financial support you need until you receive your final order.

Contact a Cook County Divorce Lawyer

At the distinguished law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD, we understand that stay-at-home parents often sacrifice education and career opportunities for their families. Our Burr Ridge family law attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of stay-at-home parents during divorce. For help with concerns related to property division, child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and more, call our office today at 630-575-8585. Schedule your personalized initial consultation today.



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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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