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Orland Park, IL Divorce Attorneys

Divorce Issues for Stay at Home Parents in Will County

Getting a divorce can be overwhelming for anyone, but a stay at home parent often has additional anxieties when a marriage dissolves. Stay at home parents, whether mothers or fathers, have left the workforce to take care of their children and their homes. This can put them in a financially vulnerable situation that is particularly highlighted in a divorce. At the Illinois divorce law firm of Kezy & Associates, we are experienced in handling divorces involving stay at home parents. Whether you or your spouse stays home, our Orland Park divorce lawyers can effectively represent your interests in the divorce and ensure you are treated fairly by the process.

Property Division for Stay at Home Parents

One of the reasons stay at home parents can be fearful of divorce proceedings is because they do not fully understand the concept of marital property. Even if you are unemployed, any and all property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property (with a few exceptions) and is subject to an equitable division in the event of a divorce. The contribution of the stay at home parent is recognized by the court, and all marital property is divided in an equitable fashion.

Child and Spousal Support for Stay at Home Parents

Another source of anxiety for divorcing stay at home parents is how they will take care of themselves and their children following their divorce. In most cases, the primary earner will have to pay alimony or spousal maintenance to the stay at home parent. How much alimony and for how long will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • How long the marriage lasted – If the marriage did not last long, there may be no alimony award or there may only be alimony awarded for a short time.
  • The financial resources of both parties – If the stay at home parent has financial resources other than income, such as a trust fund, the primary earner may not have to pay alimony.
  • Ability of the stay at home parent to re-enter the workforce – If it is possible for the stay at home parent to return to the workforce, the court may award alimony only until that is accomplished or for a specific duration of time. Additionally, if training or education is required to return to the workforce, alimony may be awarded until that is completed. The court understands that it is difficult to return to the workforce after a gap in employment and in a difficult economy, and it considers this when making support determinations.
  • Each party's earning capacity – The court will also compare how much each party can earn when the stay at home parent becomes employed and may use spousal maintenance to equalize the income of both spouses for a given time period.

If the stay at home parent is awarded physical custody of the child(ren), which is often the case since he or she has been the primary caregiver, the other parent will also have to pay child support in addition to alimony. In Illinois, child support is determined by statutory guidelines.

If you are a stay at home parent or are married to one and are planning on getting a divorce, our Orland Park divorce lawyers have the experience to effectively advocate for your rights. Contact us at 708-518-8200 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options. We provide high-quality legal counsel and representation to clients throughout Will County and the surrounding areas.

Family Law News

Illinois family laws changed on July 1, 2017. Click here to read how child support was affected.

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