How Stay-at-Home Parents Can Pay for Divorce
Think that you could never afford a divorce, or that you are stuck in a bad situation because you do not make any money? Well, think again. Stay-at-home moms (and dads) are still within their right to get divorced from a spouse. Even if you are not the financial breadwinner, this does not necessarily mean that you are stuck in that loveless and painful relationship. In some cases, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you with your divorce and get the other spouse to pay the bill. This requires a lot of advanced planning, however, and you will want to work with an attorney you trust and who is willing to listen to your concerns.
At the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC, we are a faith-based firm focusing on the real issues facing everyday Floridians. If you need to get a divorce but are not the breadwinner in your family, here are just a few key considerations to think about before you go forward with your divorce.
Your Spouse’s Income is Marital Property
In Florida, marital property is just about everything that is earned or obtained during the marriage, from whatever source. Granted, there are a few narrow exceptions, such as family gifts, heirlooms, inheritances, and so forth, so long as they are not mixed together with the marital assets. But this just means that if you are a stay-at-home parent, and your spouse is the one earning the lion’s share of all the family’s income, you need not worry that you ‘do not have money.’ In the court’s eyes, you do – your spouse’s money. The problem is access.
Getting a Spouse to Pay for Your Divorce
It is not always simple or easy, but if you hire an attorney, then that attorney should petition for interim attorney fees at a certain point in the case, seeking for the judge to order your soon-to-be ex-spouse to pay your attorney’s fees. This becomes a court order that is enforceable by the judge. Many times, attorneys will end up garnishing wages and sending deadbeat ex-spouses to collections in order to get paid. The truth is, if the money has been earned while you stay at home caring for small children and caring for the home, then you are just as much entitled to it as your ex who earned it on the job. This is why a court will have the earning spouse pay both attorneys.
Now, this is not a guarantee, obviously. There are many unique factors that will change how this works. For instance, let’s assume that the other spouse has no reported income or lives off of minimal income, disability, or some other government entitlement. Judges are generally reluctant to garnish state and federal entitlements, and judgment laws may prevent it. But if you are a stay-at-home parent, you should never let funds stop you from talking to an attorney.
Getting Answers Early
The best thing you can do is to speak with an attorney early on in the divorce process. Ask questions, get answers, set your mind at ease. Peace of mind is everything. For the answers you need, call the Sejour-Gustave Law Firm, PLLC today. The sooner you call, the sooner you can rest easy knowing your path to divorce.