The following steps will help a stay at home mom, when going through a divorce and starting over a whole new life of singlehood.
Prepare Required Documents
There are essential documents that you need during the divorce process. These documents will help you get a better divorce settlement. They will also be useful to the professionals you will hire during the divorce process. The documents are:
- Bank statements
- Investment account statements
- Individual and business tax returns and W2s
- Insurance policies
- Certificates of deposits
- Stock portfolios
- Benefits statements
- Retirement account statements
- Loan documents
- Mortgage credit documents
- Income statements
Having these documents ready will save you time and help you understand your position. If you’re not in full control, you will have a hard time finding these documents. Therefore, you need to find a way to get the documents early to save on time and money.
A team of professionals will help you as a stay at home mom divorce by guiding and giving you support. With the help of qualified professionals, you stand a better chance of getting all that you’re entitled to.
Ask for recommendations from friends and families before you start the vetting process. If you feel that the recommended person isn’t what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to look for another.
For a marriage divorce process, you need these professionals:
- marriage Divorce lawyer
- Certified divorce financial analyst
Hiring a marriage divorce attorney to handle your divorce is not an easy process. The best approach is to have several lawyers that you can interview first. If your time is limited, interview at least three, and if you’re not comfortable with any of them, keep looking.
How to Choose a Divorce Attorney
- Lawyer’s experience: hire an attorney that has relevant experience in marriage divorce cases. An experienced lawyer will know how the judges decide on cases presented to them.
- Fees: one of the most important things you should consider is attorney fees. Some offer free consultations, and some charge a few hundred dollars or a fixed cost per hour. Enquire on all the charges that you will incur and make sure you sign a contract detailing all the information.
- Testimonials from previous clients: don’t hire an attorney before talking to his/her past clients. This is easier if friends or family have recommended you. If you got the lawyer via other means, ask the attorney to give you a list of his previous clients. If you cannot get the list, that should raise a red flag. You can also check for reviews online.
- Communication: you need an attorney that will respond to phone calls, inquiries, and emails promptly. When you can easily communicate with your attorney, you can judge if you’re understood or not. You’re also able to tell if the advocate is real or fake.
Hire a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)
You also need to hire a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). A CDFA will provide advice on: valuing assets, valuing debts, dividing pension account, valuing marital home, setting up a budget, and tax implications of property division. A CDFA is good for couples who own businesses together, and they have properties. CDFA’s know family law, but they should not be hired in place of a divorce attorney.
Before you hire a CDFA, make sure you are aware of the charges you will incur. Make sure they are in good standing with reputable organizations such as the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. Look for recommendations and interview a few before hiring one.
Hire a Therapist
Getting divorced is emotionally draining; that is why you need help from a therapist. A therapist will help your family before, during, and after the divorce. A divorce therapist will talk to you about the divorce, how you’re feeling, and your emotions. You will learn how to move forward after your marriage divorce from the advice you will get from a divorce therapist.
A therapist will also help you to boost your confidence. If a child is involved, a therapist will guide you on how you should handle co-parenting.
List Your Assets and Liabilities
To have a better picture of your assets and liabilities, you need to have an updated list. Assets include cars, houses, collections, jewelry, among others. Don’t just list, indicate the value of the assets. If you’re unsure of the values, you can request your lawyer for appraisals.
Liabilities include loans, mortgages, credit card balances, and unpaid bills. If you don’t know how much you are to pay, we recommend running a credit report to get the correct picture.
Check out “What is a Minimalist Mom & Should You Become One?” to see our helpful guide to saving and having a smarter home.
Get the Value of Your Marital Home
Do not make the mistake of guessing the value of your marital home. Also, don’t rely on online calculators because they give an estimate. Having the wrong value will lead to issues down the road.
Whatever plans you have for the house, make sure it is appraised first by a licensed appraiser. An appraiser will help in determining the fair market value of your home. The appraiser should have a report in less than a week. The cost of the appraisal ranges from $300 to $400.
Most stay at home moms would love to have the marital home after the divorce, but it is not always ideal if you have no income. First, you need to pay half the value of the house if you plan to keep it. You also need to pay for all the bills relating to the house.
So, you might need to sell the house and move to a smaller one to avoid financial constraints. Letting go early is the right move if you cannot afford to maintain the house.
Consider Going Back to Work or Look For a Source of Income
Even if you get alimony, consider going back to work or look for another source of income, the earlier you start earning your own money, the earlier you gain financial independence. If you were working before and you want to go back to the same job, consider asking your former employer first. If you were good with your job and there is a vacancy you might be hired again.
You should also reach out to former coworkers and friends for networking purposes. Tell them you’re now looking for work and let them know the kind of job you’re looking for.
Don’t miss out on our piece “25 Legitimate Ways To Make Side Income as a Stay at Home Mom” for a list of side jobs you can do for easy money.
Update your resume and distribute it to people that can help you get a job.
If you’ve been out of employment for long and you’re not ready to go back to work full-time, you can look for part-time jobs. Some part-time jobs come with benefits, and they may even end up being full-time jobs.
If you want to work from home and you have hobbies, this article will help you learn how you can make money from your hobbies. If you’re creative, you can use your creativity to earn money, as discussed in this article.
Modify Your Estate Plan
You probably have an estate plan you signed years ago, or you’ve never signed one. Either way, you need to update your estate plan. Chances are your health care proxy is your ex-husband. If, by any chance, you’re admitted to ICU, do you want him to make healthcare decisions for you? You need to put your preferred person in your health care proxy.
If your state allows, update your will, amend your trust, and find out what you’re allowed to change. In your will, you might have included your current spouse, so you need to remove him.
You should also look at your prenuptial agreement and make sure that your estate plan is consistent with the agreement. It is also essential to change the power of attorney, and you can do this through your attorney.
Know Your Credit Score
Divorced stay at home mom often has lower credit scores. Why? Because of lacking credit in their names and for some, it’s as a result of poor debt management. The first step you should take is to check your credit score. You can use online tools such as credit karma, nerd wallet, and credit sesame.
If you have a poor credit score, you need to improve it. A bad credit score will prevent you from leasing apartments and getting loans. A good credit score will enable you to get loans. So rebuilding your credit score should be a priority.
You can boost your credit score by purchasing a few small things on credit and paying them off. Also, pay recurring payments on time and pay some of your debts. If you’re forgetful, you can set reminders for recurring payments. It might take longer, but taking these small steps will help you in the long run.
Have a List of What is Important
Having a list of what is important to you will help focus on other things during and after divorce. In your list include tangibles such as assets and intangibles such as visitation and custody rights. In your list, rank the items according to how important they are. The list will help you get a clear picture of what your attorney should put more energy on.
Be sure to check out “How to Set Priorities as a Stay-at-Home Mom” for tips on having a list of what is important to do first.
Create a New Budget
Creating a new budget will help you to avoid a financial crisis in your new single life. Don’t panic if you’re not used to budgeting because you don’t need any certification. You also don’t need to commit a lot of time.
First, you need to list your expenses and income. Be realistic with your costs. Don’t budget for less than the amount you know you spend. If you spend $200 on child stuff, don’t budget for $100. Be honest with your expenses and income. You can keep it simple by having a list on a notebook or a planner.
Now that you have the list compute totals for both income and expenses. If your expenses exceed income, identify costs that you can reduce. You might also find fees that you can do away with. Try to live below your means so that you’re able to have some cash stashed away for emergencies.
It is also good to make sure that your budget is visible. It is easy to stick to it if you can see it. You might decide to keep it in the refrigerator, smartphone, or any other place you know you will always see it when you need it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re strained financially. You can seek assistance from friends, family, government, or charitable organizations. This will help you temporarily before you’re stable enough to finance your life.
Maybe you need something physical to keep you organized. Well then check out our piece on “10 Best Planners For Moms (Daily & Monthly)” and get amazing deals on planners to keep you organized.
Ask For Alimony
If you’ve been a stay at home mom for an extended period, consider asking for alimony because you and your child or children need it. You can be granted temporary alimony during the divorce proceedings. When the divorce is finalized, you can be awarded alimony. This financial support or alimony will help you cover your expenses before you get a source of income and become independent.
The above steps plus these tips will help you to embrace your new life.
Tips For Stay at Home Moms Starting Over After Divorce
When starting a new life, you should think about how you’re going to take control of your life. If you did not initiate the divorce, it might be hard to accept that you’re now single. Accepting the situation means that you should not be afraid to mourn your loss. Your marriage has died, so it makes sense to mourn.
One thing that will happen after marriage divorce is that you will lose some of your friends. So, you need to look for new friends who will understand you. Make friends with people who have gone through a divorce and have managed to start their lives over.
These new friends will help you with first-hand information on various issues you will encounter. Make new friends online by joining support groups and support forums. Also, look for local support groups in your area.
You might also retain some good friends who are not divorced, but they understand you better. If, for example, you have a friend who tells you to call her whenever you feel like you should call your ex, keep her. You don’t need negative energy, so drop friends that you think aren’t helping you in any way.
Talking to your children should also be a priority. Be honest about your new life and explain to them the changes they should expect moving forward. Remember, they are also going through a hard time, and they need your support.
Let them know how much you love them, but don’t bad mouth your ex because you will be co-parents forever.
Listen to them as much as you can, even when you’re not in the mood. We also recommend alerting their teachers and all concerned parties about their new situation.
For some, it is tempting to want to start dating soon after a divorce. But, it is essential to take time to learn more about yourself. Learn to love yourself first so you can love another man.
Also, refraining from dating for a while will help your children. You wouldn’t want to introduce a new man in their lives before they have healed.
After divorce, commit to staying active and healthy. If you are not healthy and active when married, you need to change that. Learn to release stress by working out regularly. Physical exercise helps in keeping your body in shape while allowing you to vent your frustrations.
Exercising will also help in improving self-confidence and improving sleep. You don’t need a gym to work out; start walking every day. Exercise at home by watching youtube videos.
If you always eat junk when stressed, remember healthy eating is essential for your well being. You need good health to face the challenges during and after divorce. A healthy diet helps in calming anxiety and easing depression. You should also have time to relax. Getting a massage will help you relax, but if you cannot afford one, don’t panic. You can join community centers that offer inexpensive yoga classes.
It is also essential to go for a health check-up after a divorce. The stress that comes with divorce can lead to health issues, especially to middle-aged women. So, visit your doctor for a thorough check-up as soon as you can.
We believe this article ‘stay at home mom divorce’ will help you have a smooth transition from marriage to singlehood. It is not easy as we have seen, but you’re better placed if you follow the steps and tips outlined in this stay at home mom divorce article.
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