Getting alimony may seem a foregone conclusion for many couples although it often seems a lengthy battle for the couple and their respective divorce attorneys before an amicable figure is reached. For stay at home moms, the task got just tougher. If you haven’t worked for say around 20 years, have kids that need your attention at home, and possess outdated skills, a judge isn’t going to always be on your side even if you say you’ve devoted your life to supporting your husband’s burgeoning or at least decent career. The plain truth is that you’ll have to get a job.
Times are Changing
Divorce courts in every state are now taking a good look at the laws on alimony and maintenance. There are more limits on the duration of support and the amount being granted or let’s say, doled out. Even women who have not worked for a long time are having maintenance denied. According to some divorce lawyers, many judges are of the perception that women can earn as much as men do and tend to look at post-judgment alimony requests with suspicion.
Stop Caring so Much!
Statistics indicate that as much as 97% of the 400,000 people that received alimony in 2010 were women. The days of being at an economic disadvantage are almost over. They are many more women college students, as many holding professional degrees, and a large number with lucrative careers. The gap in pay is more about the types of careers women choose and the time they need to spend away from work caring for children and sick relatives, and not any more about workplace sexism.
You can Pave Your Own Way
According to Labor Department statistics, around three-quarters of women are engaged in the workforce while as much as 40 percent are breadwinners of their respective families. This shows that they have the ability to be financially responsible and earn a paycheck. This is why women who stay at home and care for their families are considered to be in a risky situation financially where the welfare of their household depends entirely on a single wage earner. Earlier, these women could count on alimony and child support when facing a divorce especially when their husband earned significantly. However, this is no longer the case.
Go Find a Real Job
Some divorce attorneys say they have experienced judges admonishing their clients for not working; saying that simply taking care of a child does not exonerate them from supporting themselves. While being a stay at home mom could be a marital decision, when divorce shows its ugly head, the situation is different. The courts seem to have less sympathy for stay and home moms who quit their jobs. There are instances of women taking up jobs stocking shelves at stores to make ends meet even though their husbands have earned thousands of dollars a month.
Not Cut & Dry
However, there are exceptions to what could be considered a trend. Temporary maintenance is granted to help one party get back to a reasonably better financial status especially when one spouse is at a severe financial disadvantage after a long marriage. Another exception is when one spouse is forced to leave the workforce to take care of a child with severe disabilities.