Can you get support after divorce if you’re a stay-at-home parent?

two people budgeting for expenses and reviewing bills

If you are facing divorce and you’ve been a stay-at-home parent, you may not be sure how you’re going to support yourself once you’re on your own. Your spouse has supported you both for the last several years, and you don’t have a specific career to return to. While you know that you can get a job, you’re also concerned about making sure your child has the attention and support they need.

One thing you’ve considered is seeking spousal support, but is that reasonable considering the circumstances? Here’s what you should consider.

California is a community property state

The first thing to remember is that California is a community property state. That means that you are entitled to 50% of your shared marital assets by law. Spousal support may be awarded if you need it temporarily as you look for work or to help bolster your income for a period of time. Rarely, it could be permanent, such as if you’ve been reliant on your spouse for many decades, though this is less common.

In terms of spousal support, you can ask for it. Whether or not you will get it will depend on if you can negotiate it as a part of your divorce and if a judge feels that it is a reasonable request. While the case is ongoing, you may ask for temporary spousal support. That support may continue or end upon the final divorce judgment.

Judges consider multiple factors when deciding if you deserve support

Judges look at factors such as your marketable skills, the current job market and how much your earning capacity may have been impaired by devoting your time to domestic duties as a stay-at-home parent. If the judge feels that you have been married long enough and have the need for spousal support for a reasonable period of time, then they may enter an order for support with or without an end date.

For someone who has lost out on several years of employment, spousal support can be very important. It’s worth looking into the option to seek support to see if it’s something you can get during and following your divorce.


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