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Divorce Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents

If you are a stay-at-home parent going through a divorce, it can feel as though you are at a big disadvantage in the negotiations. Because you’ve been away from work for an extended period of time, you may not have the earning capacity of your spouse, and your earning capacity will play a role in issues such as child support and spousal maintenance.

The good news is that your status as a stay-at-home parent doesn’t preclude you from getting a positive result in your divorce settlement — it just adds a few challenges that you should prepare for. With this in mind, below are a few steps you should take to prepare for a divorce if you are a stay-at-home parent:

  • Get access to money: Divorce can be costly, and you may need to start increasing your earning capacity quickly. Beef up your resume and begin looking for jobs. If you need to apply for public assistance in the meantime, it’s important to get on that right away. Keep in mind that if you get custody, you may also receive both child support and spousal maintenance (alimony).
  • Adjust your budget: You’re not going to be able to maintain the same budget after you get divorced. Sure, factors such as child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) can help to level the playing field, but you’re not going to be able to maintain the exact same standard of living, so it’s important you adjust your budget accordingly.
  • Don’t assume you must keep the marital home: A lot of stay-at-home parents especially want to remain in their marital home because of the home’s sentimental value, but you need to be honest with yourself about whether or not this is financially practical or realistic. If you can make it work, great, but you shouldn’t overburden yourself financially when you’re going to have plenty of other monetary concerns.
  • Plan for your return to work: You are inevitably going to need to go back to work, so take the necessary steps to prepare for that. Determine your level of employability, and consider taking additional classes to update your training and skills. Look for positions that align with your experience and education, and also give you some flexibility as a single parent.

For further guidance on how you can get through a divorce as a single parent, meet with an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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