If you are a stay-at-home mom, the prospect of a divorce may be terrifying, even if you are the one who wants it to happen.
You may be worried about where you will have to live, how you will manage finances for you and your children, saving for retirement, and more.
You also may not have had a career since before your children were born.
Many stay-at-home moms don’t even have information about the household finances.
It’s tough to start all over again, but you can get through this and you will be fine.
Especially if you have the help of a good attorney.
Open Your Own Bank Account
If you don’t have a bank account in your name, or if the only account you have is a joint account, you’ll need to open one.
If you are the one who is asking for a divorce, it is important to be financially prepared.
Once you or your spouse asks for a divorce, it may be difficult for you to get access to money.
You’ll need to make sure you have enough money to get by until the courts make decisions about marital assets.
Stay at home moms will face new difficulties in the face of divorce.
You can follow the link for tips to help you protect yourself and your children financially.
Check Your Credit
Your credit score is always important, but it will be especially important once your divorce is final.
As part of your settlement, you may need to refinance your house.
You may also need to open credit cards in your name, and you may need to purchase a new vehicle.
If you already have a credit card in your name alone, make sure you continue with on-time payments.
If you do not have one, you should open one and seek to have your name removed from any joint credit cards as soon as you can.
Review Financial Documents
This is especially important if you do not handle the family finances.
You need to know where you stand financially. The documents you need to collect include:
- Bank account statements
- Credit card statements
- Investment account statements
- Life insurance policies and annuity statements
- Loan statements
- Mortgage statements
- Pay stubs
- Retirement account statements
- Social security estimates
- Tax returns for the past three years
- W2 and 1099 forms
If you and your spouse own a business, you will also need profit and loss statements for the current and previous three years.
Establish An Email Address
If you do not have one already, create your own email address.
You can create free email accounts at Yahoo, Gmail, or through your internet provider.
Be sure to choose a password that would be difficult for your spouse to guess.
This will allow you to communicate with financial advisers, attorneys, and other professionals who are guiding you through the divorce without your spouse having access.
If you are still living with your spouse, consider getting a post office box for secure mail delivery.
Your soon-to-be-ex could take your mail and use it against you.
Remind Yourself What Gives You Joy
As a stay-at-home mom, your focus has probably been your household, your spouse, and your children. You may not have really taken time for yourself.
Now is the time to remember what used to give you joy. Volunteer at your church or sign up for an adult education class to learn a new skill.
Often, local art leagues offer free or low-cost classes where you can learn a new hobby, such as painting, sculpture, or drawing.
If you will need to find a job, begin researching different careers that you may be qualified for based on your skills.
You may need to go back to school for refresher courses or to gain a marketable skill.
Now is the time to focus on what makes you happy and begin taking steps toward achieving your own goals.