The lives of individuals who divorce are impacted in a number of ways. While many of these changes are positive, some may also prove to be challenging. In the wake of a divorce, a divorcee may enjoy their new freedom and independence but many struggle financially. This is often especially true in cases where a divorced mother or father acted as a full-time caregiver to a couple’s child or children.
Whether a mother or father chose to stay at home to care for a child out of principle or necessity, doing so can make readjusting to life post-divorce especially challenging. Stay-at-home moms and dads often rely upon a spouse financially as well as for health care and dental insurance. Additionally, stay-at-home moms and dads likely believed an ex-spouse’s retirement assets would also help fund their retirement.
One 40-year-old mother of three recently shared her story of the financial struggles she’s experienced post-divorce. Married for 14 years, the woman made the decision to stay at home eight years ago to provide care for her three daughters who are now ages 12, 10 and six. Since her divorce in 2013, the 40-year-old mother of three has struggled to land a well-paying job. While she has a BA from a reputable university and some teaching experience, she currently works only part-time for $10 per hour which makes paying her debts of more than $100,000 incredibly difficult.
For stay-at-home moms and dads, there are a number of ways to improve one’s financial situation whether married or divorced. Obtaining a credit card in one’s name and paying it off each month can help improve an individual’s credit score. Additionally, when possible, obtaining a college degree or some sort of job training often allows an individual to obtain a higher paying job. It’s also important to note that divorced stay-at-home moms and dads are typically awarded both spousal and child support.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “After divorce, a mother needs a financial overhaul and more income,” Ronald D. White, March 16, 2014