Re-Entering the Workforce after Divorce

Adjusting to a post-divorce life is often very difficult. While the divorce may have been absolutely necessary for the long-term health and happiness of both spouses, it can certainly have a major impact on their lifestyle and future. This can be especially true for a spouse who, during the marriage, was primarily a homemaker or a stay-at-home parent. The new family dynamic may mean that staying at home is no longer a realistic possibility due to changing financial circumstances.

While it is certainly true that, in some cases, a man becomes a stay-at-home dad, the vast majority of such cases involve women. After a divorce, spousal support may provide a level of assistance to a stay-at-home mother or homemaker, but depending on the other spouse’s income, the support received is often not enough to continue providing for the woman and any children. In order to make ends meet, a former stay-at-home mom may need to look toward rejoining the labor force, possibly for the first time in her adult life.

There is a plethora of advice available for women in such situations, but a few suggestions may apply to most return-to-work scenarios:

  • Be Aware but not Negative: A divorced woman re-entering the workforce may experience several disadvantages, as age and gender discrimination (although illegal) are realities of the job market, in addition to what may feel like a glaring gap in a resume. However, a positive attitude, an open mind, and a commitment to success will often shine through in an interview, helping her land the job that can put the future back in her control.
  • Embrace the Freedom: A woman who has been dependent on her spouse for many years may suddenly realize she is ready to thrive on her own. Despite the current job-market struggles, many industries and companies are recognizing the contributions of women at higher levels than ever before. Many women may also see their re-entry into the workforce as an opportunity to pursue a different career path. They find that the job they had prior to staying home is no longer what they wish to do, and begin taking steps in an entirely new direction.
  • Acquired Resources and Skills: By staying at home and raising children, many women build a new skill set and develop connections in a whole different way. Organizing family schedules and facilitating creative projects can unveil a side of a woman she never knew existed. Likewise, repeated trips to the doctor’s office or volunteering at the kids’ school can often create networking contacts that may be very helpful in finding a rewarding job after divorce.
  • Stay Strong: There are definitely challenges to re-entering the workforce after a divorce, but with the right attitude and commitment, they can be overcome. Setting specific goals, approaching them with confidence, and working hard every day can allow many divorced women the ability to take back control of their lives, no matter how difficult the situation.

If you are going through a divorce and have questions about the impact it may have on your life, contact an experienced family law attorney in Will County. Our team has worked with many stay-at-home parents through the divorce process and understands the challenges they face. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and find out how we are equipped to help you.