The myth that a non-working spouse may take his or her soon-to-be ex to the cleaners during a divorce is far from the truth. Sure, there are stories in celebrity news reports about gold-diggers walking away with millions after divorcing wealthy spouses. However, cases like that are rare.
Most people who give up successful and profitable careers to support their partners or to stay home with children never regain the same levels of income once they are divorced. Women are far more likely to suffer financially following a split than are men.
The time between filing and finishing the divorce process can be financially debilitating as well. Since there is no court order allowing child support or spousal maintenance yet, a mother may be unable to afford normal family expenses, especially if the divorce process is drawn out over months or years.
Preparing for the divorce process
When a marital relationship begins to break down, the unemployed spouse needs to prepare for divorce by taking the following actions:
- Compiling individual and marital income, assets and savings information
- Evaluating existing job skills
- Preparing the children
- Seeking support from family, friends and an understanding lawyer
Seek skilled legal advice
Both parties to a divorce should consult a skilled divorce attorney and learn about their legal and financial options.