A Divorce Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms

Although divorce can bring uncertainty, mediation helps spouses achieve a bright future for themselves and their children.

In this article, we’ll outline the steps involved in divorce and how mediation eases the stress of parenting agreements, marital property division, and more. With tips for managing all the complexities involved in divorce as a stay-at-home mom, you’ll learn how to build a strong foundation for your and your children’s futures and confidently move forward.

What are some reasons stay-at-home moms file for divorce?

Sometimes, stay-at-home moms and their spouses choose to start a new chapter. Here are a few reasons why they file for divorce:

  • they are experiencing communication problems, creating a stressful home environment;
  • one of them has been unfaithful or otherwise broken trust;
  • they have differing parenting opinions, resulting in frequent disagreements;
  • financial issues are placing too much strain on the marriage; or
  • there are long-term unresolved conflicts in the marriage.

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

Stay-at-home moms go through the same basic steps as anyone else going through a divorce. However, there may be special considerations due to their primary caregiver role.

The litigation route to divorce is often a long, drawn-out process — not to mention pricey. But there’s an easier way forward that makes the divorce peaceful and cooperative for you, your co-parent, and your children — mediation.

Here are the basic steps to divorce mediation:

1. Choose a mediator

A professional mediator is a third-party individual who doesn’t take sides. Once you and your spouse choose a mediator, you can schedule mediation meetings at times that work for both of you.

In mediation, no “demands” are made, and there is no “service” of documents. Your mediator will draft the documents that let the court know that you have both agreed to mediation.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators are experienced professionals who will guide you through your entire process with patience and understanding. Schedule a free 1-hour consultation to learn more.

A picture of girls hugging each other

2. Create a settlement agreement

Once you and your spouse have completed your mediation meetings, your mediator will draft a settlement agreement for you that addresses all the issues you discussed. Afterward, you will both sign it.

3. Submit the settlement agreement

Your mediator submits your settlement agreement to the court. Afterward, there may be a waiting period before the divorce can be completed. This period of time differs by state, ranging anywhere from 60 days to 6 months.

Important things stay-at-home moms should consider

Understanding that there are many options in a divorce is key for everyone involved. Each Parenting Plan will be different and personalized to the family going through the process.

In court, the judge will make all final decisions for you, and a court battle can be costly — leaving both of you unhappy in the end.

A mediator, on the other hand, is a helpful guide through the divorce process. They will help both of you discuss your vision for the future and create a path for a collaborative process. This approach can make tough discussions simpler, leading to decisions that work well for everyone — especially your kids.

What does spousal support look like for a stay-at-home mom?

Spousal support payments are given by one spouse to the other to help cover the latter’s living costs. A spousal support arrangement is separate from a child support arrangement.

Child support payments are given by one spouse to the other to support the minor children specifically.

This is an image of two young girls hugging outside

Each state has its own rules, but here’s what’s taken into consideration when it comes to spousal support:

  • how long you were married;
  • your respective incomes, or lack thereof;
  • the marital property you own;
  • the marital debt you have;
  • the way you lived during the marriage;
  • how you supported each other — financially or by being the primary caregiver for the kids, for instance;
  • your earning potential;
  • your ages and how healthy you both are; and
  • your taxes and any joint debt.

The court looks at all of these factors to decide on spousal support. In mediation, you are guided through discussions and work together to reach creative divorce agreements. Your mediator’s goal is to help ensure the financial stability of your family now and into the future.

What does a child custody arrangement look like for a stay-at-home mom?

Sorting out parenting time is a huge piece of the child care puzzle for parents. As a stay-at-home parent, your role in nurturing your kids is valued and considered a strength in these discussions.

The decisions about physical custody of your children aren’t just about finances and credit scores. What matters most is the children’s happiness and well-being and how you and your co-parent will continue to care for them.

In mediation, you both have the chance to listen to and understand each other’s perspectives. It’s all about finding a plan that reflects your family’s needs — not a one-size-fits-all solution made by the court.

The goal is to create a parenting plan and reach mutual agreements that respect and incorporate both of your strengths. This puts your children’s needs first in every decision.

What does property division look like for a stay-at-home mom?

As a general rule: The items you purchased while married are usually shared fairly. The assets you or your spouse owned before marriage usually don’t get divided.

However, there are exceptions. For example, if your spouse helped increase the property value of the home you owned before your marriage, that effort might be recognized.

Decisions about the family home are another big step. You might decide to sell it and share the proceeds, or maybe one of you will want to purchase and keep it. It’s important to agree on these things together in mediation to avoid long, expensive court proceedings and extra attorney fees.

An image of a mom holding her child

A divorce mediator can help you navigate all issues as you work toward a collaborative divorce. They’re skilled at helping spouses reach acceptable agreements regarding bank accounts, credit card and other debts, retirement funds, and even furniture. With a mediator, you can focus on what’s best for everyone, saving time, money, and stress.

5 tips for stay-at-home moms going through divorce

There’s no doubt that navigating divorce can be tough. Here are five tips to help you find your way:

1. Remember that your children are your top priority

Separation and divorce can be a particularly difficult time for children, especially in cases with high conflict. This means it’s important to keep their needs at the forefront.

Speak respectfully about your co-parent in front of your children to keep them in a positive light.

Arrange a fair parenting plan that works for both of your schedules, too. This helps establish a routine that benefits you, your co-parent, and your children.

2. Stay informed and organized

The divorce process has several steps, and it can be easy to lose track of information along the way. A divorce mediation checklist is a helpful guide you can turn to at any time during your divorce process.

3. Be realistic with your expectations

Divorce doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to maintain a positive mindset during this time for both your own sake and your children’s well-being. Being realistic with your expectations helps you keep stress and anxiety at bay.

4. Pay attention to your finances

During your divorce process, monitor your financial situation closely to make sure you can continue building on your own and your children’s futures. Make sure your budget is realistic and that you can continue to support yourself after your divorce.

Consider having a professional financial advisor help you with this process.

5. Consider mediation

With the guidance of a skilled mediator, you can have productive discussions with your spouse about your and your children’s future. Your divorce mediator can help you find a middle ground gently, saving you from courtroom stress and expense.

Have an amicable divorce with The Aurit Center

Going through a divorce as a stay-at-home mom doesn’t mean you have to do it all by yourself or fight in court. The Aurit Center is here to help you and your co-parent have a healthy and peaceful divorce process and post-divorce life.

Schedule a free consultation with us today. You’ll learn more about how mediation can be completed quicker than going to court. Our flat fees support your financial stability, and payment options are available.

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