Should I Ask For Divorce? The Homemaker’s Dilemma

Deciding to move forward with divorce is one of the hardest decisions one can make. This is especially true for the modern day homemaker. Today’s homemaker is Active. Not only do they handle matters affecting the home, activities outside the home are common and plentiful. Add into the mix a failing marriage, and it’s easy to understand why many homemakers are afraid to move forward with a divorce.

This article will address some of the popular concerns shared by homemakers in deciding divorce.

WHEN WILL I GET support/ALIMONY?

Homemakers generally┬árun the household so that their spouse can focus on earning a salary. The latter can rarely succeed without the former. After all, advancements in a spouse’s career is only possible by the homemaker’s attention to the domestic duties. The law contemplates this reality and provides for spousal support (or alimony) for non-wage-earning-spouse. Family Code Section 4320 addresses the circumstances that the court shall consider when setting support. Check to see how these apply to your situation.

Supported parties have the ability to request spousal support as soon as the divorce is opened. Because the divorce process can oftentimes be long, supported parties are encouraged to consider petitioning for support early in the process. Referred to as “temporary spousal support”, supported parties can rely on a monthly support amount based upon┬áthe marital standard at the time of separation to help them maintain some sense of normalcy while the divorce plays out.

MY SPOUSE HID ALL OF OUR ASSETS.

It is not uncommon for the wage earner to control the parties’ finances and property during the marriage. In instances where the supported party was kept in the dark during the marriage, a litigation tool called “discovery” can be utilized to unearth hidden accounts, reveal true balances, and determine valuations of businesses or properties. It is difficult to completely hide assets or debts in today’s age. Smart and effective discovery should be used early in the process to develop a complete picture of the community estate.

HOW CAN I AFFORD AN Attorney?

Many homemakers are worried that their spouse will use the money from their employment to hire an attorney while they cannot afford one. Thankfully, the law also provides for contribution to a party’s attorney’s fees and costs if there is a disparity in income and the party with the higher income is able to pay for both attorneys. See, Family Code Section 2030. This request should also be made early in the process. The law also allows a spouse to use community money to pay for their attorney.

See our previous blog post related to this topic for more information: The Wealthy Ex and An Even Playing Field.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Our office never encourages or discourages parties to file for divorce. This is a highly individual and personal decision. Ultimately, if the marriage is beyond repair, one can trust in the divorce process. An order for monthly support can be obtained early in the process. Hidden accounts and mischievous financial dealings can be discovered. And attorney’s fees might be payable by the wage-earning-spouse.

If you would like a free consultation to discuss your divorce case, please do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney. Our phone number is listed at the top of this page, or if you prefer, our contact form is below.