If your spouse has supported you while you stayed at home with the kids, the prospect of divorce can be overwhelming. You may wonder whether you can protect the strong relationship you have nurtured with your children when you are no longer married. You may have concerns about where you will live or how you will pay for day-to-day expenses. You may be uncertain how to re-enter the workforce or support yourself moving forward.
You’re not alone in your concerns. With one in five parents in the United States staying at home, divorcing as a stay at home parent is a common legal challenge. If you are considering divorce, you should keep some critical facts at mind.
You may still have to share custody, even if you were the primary caregiver at home.
As a stay at home parent, chances are you have had more time with your children. Don’t assume that this means you will receive sole custody. The court may want both of you to be active and involved in your children’s lives, and this could mean sharing custody and actively co-parenting with your ex in the future.
Child support will depend on what your child needs.
In Indiana, the amount of child support you receive will be established based on your income as well as your child’s needs—their medical care, the cost of their schooling or daycare, and other factors. In cases where custody is shared, payments will depend on the amount of time your child spends with you.
Spousal maintenance could help you make ends meet, but it may not be a long-term solution.
Generally, Indiana only grants spousal maintenance in cases where one spouse cannot support themselves. For example, you may be physically or mentally unable to work, or the needs of your child may require you to stay at home to act as their caregiver.
The court may also award rehabilitative spousal maintenance if you need additional training to reenter the workforce. As a stay-at-home parent, chances are you put schooling or potential job opportunities aside so that you could care for your kids. You may need training or higher education to support yourself and your family going forward. Spousal maintenance could support you while you work toward this goal.
While divorcing as a stay-at-home parent can be a challenge, it is possible to get back on your feet after this challenging life transition.