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3 considerations for stay-at-home moms during a divorce

You've been focusing on raising your children and thought your husband was out working to pay the bills. Instead, you found out that he has been cheating on you. The news that he filed for divorce came as a shock. Now, you are facing the prospect of trying to raise children as a single mother who doesn't have any recent workforce experience.

You do have options that you can exercise during the divorce proceedings that could enable you to put your children first and work toward being able to get back into the workforce.

1. Spousal support

Alimony is often possible in long-term marriages. The fact that you were a stay-at-home mom raising your children might be helpful if you seek alimony payments. These payments help you to make ends meet while you work to get the skills you need to get back into the workforce.

Spousal support payments can occur in two ways - they can be part of the divorce settlement you and your ex work out or the court can order them. Your ex-husband will make payments to you according to the order if alimony is a factor in your divorce. This can include a lump sum payment or regularly occurring payments.

2. Child custody and support

The child custody agreement and child support order are important. These set the basis for who will spend time with the children and care for them, as well as who pays for certain expenses. You should understand the order completely. Child custody orders include information about physical custody and visitation, decision-making abilities and similar matters.

An agreement reached through mediation needs to address these issues and any other factors that you know apply to your case. The child support order should include the amount of support, frequency of payments, medical coverage orders and extraordinary expense terms. Your child's best interests are the focus of these orders.

3. Property division

The property division agreement has a big part in your future. Be realistic when you think about what you can handle. Getting a bunch of assets might seem preferable. However, you must ensure you can cover the upkeep of the assets you get. You won't have your ex-husband's income to cover expenses. Think about how you will pay the mortgage, insurance policies, car payments, maintenance costs and other related expenses as you think about what assets you want to keep. Stay focused on making your future the best one possible throughout the divorce proceedings.

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