A lot of men who spend their time at home caring for their children are hesitant to seek out financial support when their marriage fails and they’re headed toward divorce. But the truth of the matter is that these men have given up their education and their careers to help raise a family. These are significant sacrifices, and ones that could leave you in a tough financial position post-divorce.
What can you do to protect your financial interests?
The good news is that the laws on spousal support are gender neutral. This means that you, as a stay-at-home dad, have the ability to seek monthly support payments from your spouse. Keep in mind that these support payments are aimed at giving you financial stability while you focus on obtaining the education, training, or experience necessary to become self-sufficient. Therefore, this support is meant to be temporary in nature.
But how much can you recover in support?
It really depends on the circumstances of your case. Just as with any other spousal support case, the court is going to assess a number of factors to determine what sort of payment amount is appropriate given the facts at hand. Those considerations include:
- The length of the marriage
- The sacrifices that were made during the marriage
- The financial contributions made during the marriage
- The marital standard of living
- Each spouse’s earning capacity
- The financial resources of each spouse
- The expected parenting responsibilities of each party
That may seem like a lot to take into consideration, and it is, but the law also allows the court to analyze any other information that it deems relevant to its determination. Therefore, even matters like adultery can end up proving pivotal in your spousal support case.
Once the court fully assesses the factors that it deems relevant to its determination, it will issue an order specifying the support amount and how long the support payments are to last.
Can your support award be modified?
Yes. The amount of alimony that you’re paid can be adjusted up or down when warranted. For example, if your spouse gets a promotion and starts making a lot more money, you may be justified in seeking an increased amount of support. On the other hand,
if your spouse ends up being diagnosed with a serious medical condition that affects her ability to work, she may request a decrease in the support amount. Your alimony payments may also stop if you remarry or if you’re found to be cohabitating with someone who is providing you with financial support. Therefore, even after your initial support is ordered, you need to be sure to reassess your circumstances from time to time to ensure that you’re protecting your interests as fully as possible.
Are you ready to build your spousal support case?
Obtaining spousal support can be a huge financial lifesaver as you’re forced to navigate post-divorce life. But the issue can be hotly contested. That’s why you need to be prepared to aggressively advocate for your position, gathering and presenting the most persuasive evidence you can find.
If you’re ready to start building your case, you may want to talk about your circumstances with an experienced family law attorney. One of these legal professionals can leave you resting easy, knowing that your best interests are advocated for appropriately. Before you select an attorney to represent you, be sure to research them, what they have to offer their clients and their record of successfully advocating in these sorts of cases.