How to Approach Divorce if You Are a Non-working Spouse
Divorce can be a lengthy and costly process, and it comes with financial and emotional consequences. For non-working spouses, who often have devoted years to being homemakers, it can be scary as well, as the uncertainties that they face can seem overwhelming. However, they do have options that they should consider as they prepare and begin planning for life post-divorce.
Getting Back on Your Feet Can Take Time
When a marriage ends, you might feel like you want to rush into your new life and forget the past, but the divorce process takes time, and you will need the patience to go through it. The decisions that you make during this period might affect you for years to come, so make sure that you prepare well for it.
You will also need to begin preparing for your life post-divorce, and if you were the non-working spouse, you might worry about how to do this. If you have been out of the workforce for a long time, you might think you need to take the first job you can. However, during and after the divorce itself, you might also look at training and education options that will help you with your employment opportunities. This will take time, but it might result in a better paying and more satisfying job in the long run.
Preparing for the Divorce Negotiations
During this time, you might benefit from seeking guidance from a divorce lawyer, who can help you prepare for the negotiations over your settlement. At thi8s time, you will need to gather financial documents to get a clear picture of the type of settlement that will be just. Some of the documents you might gather include:
- Bank statements for your savings, investment and checking accounts
- Credit card statements
- Vehicle titles and loan statements
- Property titles and mortgage information
- Retirement accounts, pension plans and insurance statements
Financial Options for Non-working Spouses During Divorce
You might still be worried about how you will support yourself as you acquire new skills, and this might make you afraid of the future. However, you do have financial options available to you that will help you get back on your feet financially, such as benefits from your divorce settlement, alimony or spousal support and child support.
While alimony payments might eventually run out and child support is used to cover the needs of your child, your settlement might also yield benefits that can help you as you transition back into the workforce. A divorce lawyer might help you understand your financial options.
Making the Tough Decisions
Divorce is also a time when you will have to make tough decisions that will impact you and your family. One of these might be whether to keep the family home or not. For example, for a non-working spouse, it might not be financially feasible to keep the house, so the decision might have to be to give it up during the settlement negotiations or to sell it and receive your part of the proceeds. You need to be prepared to make these tough decisions as you move forward with your life.
Dealing With the Emotional Impact
Like any other major change, divorce comes with an emotional impact. You might experience fear about what is coming and anger about what is ending. You will have periods of anxiety for the future while also being excited about leaving a bad situation. You will grieve for the relationship, the family and the life plan that you have to let go of to begin life after divorce. To deal with this impact, you might gather a support team made up of family members and friends who let you speak and listen to you, and you might seek professional support through therapists or psychologists.
Let the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner Help You
If you are considering divorce, you can contact the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner to request a consultation. Call 215-886-1266 or submit our online form today.