Divorce is often an emotionally and financially draining process. For stay-at-home parents, the decision to separate puts them at a disadvantage—particularly when they primarily depend on their spouses for support. If you are in the same situation, it’s crucial that you talk to a reputable divorce lawyer before starting the process. Below are a few steps to take that will get you prepared.
5 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents Planning for Divorce
1. Consult With a Professional
Separation laws in North Carolina are complicated, which makes it necessary to talk to an experienced divorce lawyer before taking drastic action. Whatever you do can impact the outcome on alimony, division of property, financial support, and child custody. Most lawyers will help their clients draft a separation agreement that covers their rights and entitlements before the divorce becomes final.
2. Do the Math
Try to have a clearer picture of your current finances—bank accounts, investments, loans, and household expenses. Gather documents about income, taxes, insurance policies, and retirement plans; these will be essential considerations during the divorce proceedings. Start saving whatever you can to build a fund of your own. Under North Carolina’s divorce laws, you can ask for temporary spousal support after the separation but before the divorce—use it to start a new life.
3. Safeguard Your Assets
Once you have enough money, open a separate account solely under your name. If there are valuable assets that you want, like vehicles, family heirlooms, and jewelry, take steps to keep them before they get liquidated by your spouse. Some divorce lawyers suggest filing Lis Pendens as well for jointly owned real estate properties to prevent sale without your consent.
4. Manage Your Credit
If you haven’t been actively using your name and information to get credit, this can spell trouble for your score. A low one makes it difficult to apply for loans, get a lease, or obtain favorable interest rates. Start anew by opting for a small credit line with a local lender that you can use for day-to-day purchases or emergencies. If you have joint credit, such as cards or a home equity loan, don’t forget to change them so they won’t affect your rating.
5. Plan to Work Again
Even if you’ve been out of employment for a while, you can still find work—just be patient and open to opportunities. Know what your skills are and put these to work. Consider upgrading your skill set, not to mention pay grade, by taking classes. Alternatively, think about work-from-home setups.
When you’re a stay-at-home parent planning for divorce, it’s essential to work with a skilled family law attorney from the Law Offices of M. Timothy Porterfield. Based out of Charlotte, NC, their divorce lawyers have offered legal advice on separation agreements and equal distribution to families in the area, including Ballantyne and South Park. Visit their website or call (704) 370-3694 to speak with a family law lawyer.