Mother with son

Stay-at-Home Mom No More

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I’m a Stay-at Home Mom No More and Now I’m Sinking

Dear Susan,

During our marriage, my husband was the major wage earner and I was a stay at home mother.  When we separated, he said he would continue to pay the bills.  Unfortunately, he has not kept his word and I have a hard time taking care of the bills.  What do I do now since I can’t earn the amount of money that he does?  I feel like I am sinking.

Help me,

Dear Alyson,

Financial disparity between the two parties is almost always a major component of a contentious divorce.  Your letter did not mention how long you have been separated or if you have been divorced so I am only able to give you a broad answer with hopes that it helps you.  If you are newly separated, you must find a lawyer to begin the financial negotiations.  If you  are still separated, and not legally divorced, you are operating in a the dark because there is nothing yet etched-in-stone regarding finances.  This is the most vulnerable period for you during this entire process because he cannot be held accountable, by family court, for not paying you or the bills.

An attorney will negotiate with his attorney to make sure he holds up his end of the of the financial bargain.  After the divorce, the only way you will be able to assure that he honors the financial arrangements, if he does not do so, is to take him to court for contempt.

In the meanwhile, I suggest you look to downsize your living situation, sell things you don’t need and get a job, if you can.  Anything you can do to help your financial situation is paramount to your healing and the less you need to rely on him the better.

Wishing you the best.

Susan Shofer Divorce Consultant

A Lawyer Can Help with Financial Negotiations

If you are newly separated, a lawyer can often help with financial negotiations. And if your ex doesn’t pay, remember you have legal options.

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