THE AURIT CENTER

A Divorce Guide for Stay-at-Home Dads: 5 Tips for Making Your Divorce As Peaceful As Possible

Divorce for stay-at-home dads can involve unique considerations. It can also be less stressful when you have proper support.

This article discusses the typical divorce process for stay-at-home dads. We also provide tips to make the path easier and more peaceful for you, your co-parent, and your children.

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What are the most common reasons stay-at-home dads file for divorce?

There are many reasons stay-at-home dads and their spouses may consider divorce, here are just a few:

  • they may be experiencing communication issues, leading to misunderstandings;
  • they may be feeling neglected or unappreciated;
  • there may have been a betrayal of trust due to infidelity;
  • financial issues are straining the relationship, leading to tension and conflict;
  • they may be having arguments over differing parenting opinions; or
  • there are long-term unresolved conflicts in the marriage.

What does the divorce process look like for a stay-at-home dad?

Divorce for stay-at-home dads looks like that of any other individual getting a divorce. However, there may be specific considerations due to their role as the primary caregiver.

Hiring divorce attorneys and taking the litigation route often involves drawn-out, expensive court proceedings. But if you choose divorce mediation, it can be much more peaceful, less expensive, and easier on the kids, you, and your co-parent.

Let’s take a look at the divorce mediation process:

1. Selecting a mediator

Reputable professional mediators offer free consultations so that you can get answers to your questions before making a decision about how best to complete your process. Once you and your spouse select a mediator, you can schedule meetings at times that are convenient for both of you. Your mediator will provide support and guidance as you discuss:

  • child custody matters;
  • child support payments;
  • spousal support; and
  • division of property.

2. Draft a settlement agreement

Once the mediation meetings are complete, in most states, your mediator will draft a settlement agreement. This agreement addresses each of the issues discussed in mediation.

You and your co-parent will approve and sign the settlement agreement before it is submitted to the court.

3. Submit the agreement

Some states impose a waiting period before a divorce can be completed. This waiting period ranges from a couple of weeks to several months.

For example, the waiting period in California is six months, and in Arizona, it’s 60 days.

 This is an image of a father working on a laptop with his child.

Important things stay-at-home dads going through a divorce need to consider

Stay-at-home dads need to consider certain information during divorce. These include child custody, support, and asset division.

Here are some key things to think about:

  • Child custody: You and your co-parent will reach agreements on child custody, whether that’s sole, primary, or joint custody. It’s up to you both to come to an arrangement that works for you and your children.
  • Visitation: You will reach agreement on a regular visitation schedule, including holidays or special occasions. Exceptions can occur when there are child neglect or safety concerns.
  • Child support: You may be able to arrange child support from your co-parent to help cover the costs of raising your kids. The amount can vary depending on the children’s needs, how much you and your co-parent each earn, and the custody arrangement. In mediation, you and your co-parent will review your state’s Child Support Calculator together with your mediator (if applicable). From there, you will create an agreement that meets your unique needs.
  • Spousal support: Depending on your situation, you may receive spousal support. This can give you time to consider your options and become self-sufficient.
  • Property division: You and your spouse will decide on the fair division of marital property. These include all the assets and debts obtained during your marriage.

This is an image of a little girl and boy laughing

Mediation makes divorce less stressful for you and your family.

Your mediator will explain the applicable laws. You’ll be informed and supported every step of the way.

If you’d like to learn more or are ready to get started with the mediation process, schedule a free consultation with an Aurit Center Certified Mediator today.

What does spousal support look like for a stay-at-home dad going through a divorce?

Spousal support, also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, means one spouse provides financial support to the other spouse during and after a divorce. The goal behind it is to provide assistance as the non- or lower-earning spouse becomes independent.

There are two different types of spousal support:

  • Temporary spousal support, which is awarded to the non- or lower-earning spouse until the divorce is finalized or for a specified period.
  • Long-term spousal support, which provides ongoing financial assistance to the lower-earning spouse.

In most cases, if you can find work and become independent, you’ll likely be awarded temporary support. In either case, your spousal support decisions will ultimately depend on your agreement with your spouse in mediation. You can personalize your own agreements to protect each of your financial stability moving forward.

What does property division look like for a stay-at-home dad going through a divorce?

As a stay-at-home dad, in mediation, your divorce process will involve a distribution of marital assets and debts that you find agreeable. Your mediator will guide you as you:

1. Identify your marital property. This includes all assets and debts acquired during marriage, regardless of who paid for it or took on the debt. Examples include:

  • the family home;
  • furniture; and
  • vehicles.

Your Aurit Center Certified Mediator will share a questionnaire with you to help you gather this information in a simple and efficient way. To help you prepare, here are 10 Helpful Tips for an Amicable Divorce as well.

2. Value your marital assets. Determining the value of your assets may require the help of financial professionals. In mediation, you and your spouse can create unique agreements so that you both retain sentimental items.

3. Distribute your assets. Different states follow different property distribution laws. Several factors will determine the distribution, including the length of the marriage and each spouse’s contributions and needs. No matter what state you live in, you can maintain control of your financial agreements — rather than a judge making them for you— by completing your process in mediation.

Contributions to the marriage include non-monetary contributions, such as managing the household or providing childcare and transportation.

This is an image of a dad teaching his child to ride a bicycle

5 tips for stay-at-home dads going through a divorce

Here are some tips for making the divorce experience as peaceful and smooth as possible as a stay-at-home dad:

1. Stay informed

Ensure you stay informed regarding the following aspects of family law and divorce:

  • child support;
  • alimony; and
  • property division.

There are many options you and your spouse can consider. In mediation, a knowledgeable mediator will answer your questions. You and your spouse can reach unique, creative agreements that are in your children’s best interests. In court, however, judges make the final decisions.

2. Focus on the children

Divorce and child custody battles can be stressful for your kids when conflict is high. Keeping children’s needs top-of-mind during the divorce process is important. When parents avoid conflict and speak positively about the other parent in front of their kids, they help protect their kids from stress.

Equitable parenting time for both parents during and after the divorce can make things easier for your children.

If you’re unsure how to approach the topic of divorce with your kids, we can help you learn how to explain divorce to them in a simple and caring way.

3. Stay organized

Keep track of essential documents, appointments, and deadlines during the divorce process to avoid delays. Writing down your questions and bringing them to mediation meetings supports an efficient process.

4. Set realistic expectations

Understand that divorce isn’t resolved overnight or even within a few weeks. Maintaining a positive mindset, practicing patience, and being realistic will help you both to focus on achieving beneficial resolutions.

Mediation is the way to complete your divorce as quickly as possible. At The Aurit Center, the average mediation process takes just two to four months to complete.

5. Review your finances

During your divorce, focus on building your and your children’s future by closely reviewing your financial situation. Set a realistic budget to manage your finances with ease both during and after the divorce process. A professional financial advisor can help you understand your current circumstances and prepare to move forward.

If you are currently unemployed, you might want to consider and start researching your options. When you are ready, applying for jobs can increase your independence.

Let The Aurit Center help make your divorce peaceful

The divorce process doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing for stay-at-home dads. Getting the help of an expert divorce mediator will help you and your co-parent reach mutually acceptable agreements on:

  • child custody;
  • the division of assets;
  • alimony; and
  • much more.

Schedule a free 1-hour consultation with an expert divorce mediator to learn more about how mediation can help you.

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