Getting a divorce can be stressful for anyone, but if you are a stay-at-home parent with fewer resources to draw from than your spouse, the process can be even more worrying. How do you protect yourself and fight for a positive outcome for you and your children? Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to protect your rights and prepare for the future. A Memphis, Tennessee divorce mediation lawyer can help you figure out what needs to be done and how you can avoid being taken advantage of during this process.
What if a Stay-At-Home Parent Cannot Afford a Lawyer and Court Fees?
If you are a stay-at-home parent without income of your own, you may be primarily worried about the cost of hashing out a divorce agreement in court. There are some other, less expensive ways to go about this though:
- The mediation process, where you and your spouse sit down with a third-party mediator to negotiate
- A collaborative divorce where you, your spouse, and attorneys work together to come to favorable terms
- Spouse-funded litigation
As for that last option, sometimes someone can be ordered to pay for their spouse’s attorney and court fees in order to make the divorce negotiations more fair. Occasionally, the spouse with fewer resources will be paid temporary alimony, meant to help them handle expenses during the divorce. This spousal support can also go towards the cost of hiring a lawyer, meaning that you do not need to be put at a disadvantage during litigation.
What Should a Stay-at-Home Parent Do Before a Divorce?
If you have been served with divorce papers, you need to prepare yourself by gathering any important financial or marriage-related documents. Whether it is a bank statement or a marriage license, make sure that you have copies of everything. You want to be able to accurately paint a picture of your financial situation.
Will a Stay-at-Home Parent Receive Alimony?
It is possible that you will receive alimony if you were a stay-at-home parent. The court usually wants you to be able to maintain some semblance of the quality of life you had when you were married. If you have no income of your own, you will need alimony to continue providing a certain lifestyle for yourself and your children.
You could be offered permanent alimony, but if you are younger and capable of getting back into the workforce you may be offered what is known as “rehabilitative alimony.” This is designed to support you while you go back to school or train for certain jobs. So it is a good idea to prepare to go back to work eventually, just in case you do not end up with a substantial alimony payment to rely on in the long term.
Talk to Our Legal Team
When you are ready to talk to a divorce lawyer, contact Rice Law. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about your options and how you can fight for the best possible outcome.