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Should I take a job before I file?

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MissMarple posted 8/1/2013 17:58 PM

I've been waiting about 3 months to see some real change in my SAWH. I'm about done, and I am likely to file for separation soon. I am a stay at home mom, and haven't been in the work force for a few years. My son will be in preschool full time next week, and I have an opportunity to take a part time job that I can work around his school schedule. I'm pretty broke. I need the money, but I'm wondering if I get a job before I file, if this will harm me when it comes to alimony/support? Any thoughts?

Missymomma posted 8/1/2013 18:02 PM

Yes, it will lower the amount of money you get for alimony. How long have you been married and what are the alimony requirements in your state? Have you spoken to an attorney?

MissMarple posted 8/1/2013 18:06 PM

Been married for 7 years. I have no idea what the requirements are, other than I think TN is a 50/50 state. I haven't seen a lawyer yet, as I am without funds. I'm going to have to ask friends for money, and I wanted to be ready to file before I paid to see an attorney.

ButterflyGirl posted 8/1/2013 18:14 PM

For child support, I think they may calculate it as you having a full time minimum wage job anyway, so getting the part time job wouldn't affect that.. Would be better for you actually..

I know nothing about alimony since we make about the same, but I do know plenty of attorneys give free consults, so I would start calling around. You will want to consult with quite a few before you choose one anyway. Divorce attorneys are NOT made equal..

I think if it were me, I would go for the job.. Good luck..

Missymomma posted 8/1/2013 18:15 PM

Well, it looks like TN has pretty good alimony laws. I would talk to an attorney before making any decisions. It looks like there is more than one kind of alimony in TN.

I don't really know your situation, so if you have to get a job, then that is what you have to do. It may give you less in alimony but you can't starve. If you file for separation, you should receive temporary support. Mine was less than my actual child support and alimony became.

gonnabe2016 posted 8/1/2013 18:20 PM

I think that you should take the job. Especially since it's a job that will allow you to work around your son's schedule. You'll have to get a job eventually anyway and you will also be expected to provide a portion of the support $ for your son.

I think that most states have the divorce statutes online. Read through them and educate yourself.

homewrecked2011 posted 8/1/2013 18:23 PM

On my D, they calculated child support and alimony as if I were working a minimum wage job.

Look up some attys today and go for free consults. Almost every atty office I went to was empty of customers!!! I guess the economy is hitting everyone hard, so I think attys welcome the business.

I went to 3 free consults before I chose mine. Each appt gave me more insight and more questions...

Crescita posted 8/1/2013 18:24 PM

I would take the job. It sounds like a good fit and it might be awhile before you get another opportunity like this. Even if alimony is reduced a little, you will probably curry better favor with the judge if you show that you are willing to work. Besides, it is an uphill battle trying to get out of debt, and exes have a way of not being reliable with child support and alimony.

hurtbs posted 8/1/2013 18:42 PM

Consult an attorney. The laws vary from state to state.

womaninflux posted 8/1/2013 18:47 PM

My lawyer told me not to take a full time job or even any job that paid significant income. He said it weakens the case against maintenance (aka alimony) in a long term marriage (10+years in most states).

Nature_Girl posted 8/1/2013 18:48 PM

Take the job. The CS calculation will assume you're working 40 hours at minimum wage, even if you aren't. You can't get around it. So you might as well have an actual job. The courts have no regard for a SAH parent. None whatsoever.

myperfectlife posted 8/1/2013 19:57 PM

I think it really depends on where you live. In my state there is no alimony but there is "maintenance" since I am in school. Also, I have a part time job and even if I DOUBLED my income, my CS would only be about $60 less a month. My STBXWS makes about 6x more than I do. In my state they do take into account that I was a SAHM and it's assumed it was agreed upon. However, it's still a 50/50 no fault state.
Definitely do some online research.

MissMarple posted 8/1/2013 21:39 PM

Thank you all. Time to start looking for a lawyer.

LadyQ posted 8/1/2013 22:02 PM

I know in my case, they didn't even take my income into consideration when it came to CS. It was strictly a percentage of what he made.

Nature_Girl posted 8/2/2013 12:52 PM

Yes, CS is a formula often not normally related to the SAH parent's pretend salary. But SS most definitely takes the pretend salary into consideration.

Helen of Troy posted 8/2/2013 13:05 PM


I wanted to add that if there is such a discrepancy in income to where alimony factors in, you should see a lawyer anyway. Your lawyer will most likely tell you that s/he can request and likely be granted that x pay your attorney fees.
So don't worry about the legal fee money is what I'm saying. (Those of us where there is not enough discrepancy between incomes find other means to finance the lawyer like yard sales, and selling own jewelry, etc.)

tesla posted 8/2/2013 18:09 PM

I was a SAHM. The state assumed that I would a full time minimum wage job when they calculated CS. So I found myself a job, but it came in under the amount calculated...do your research.

Pippy posted 8/2/2013 19:12 PM

Take the job. They look at your tax statements for last year's income.

ETA - You'll heal faster when you have a job outside the home, mixing with people and feeling good about yourself.

[This message edited by Pippy at 7:39 PM, August 2nd (Friday)]

FieldsOfLavender posted 8/2/2013 20:07 PM

I agree with Pippy. I'd take the job so you can 1. get skills and experience to get a better job and 2. to get out and make your world bigger.

I have worked outside the home, but my world was pretty small because it was work, family, home. I have started to reach out to people and socialize more and just started an activity I have wanted to do for a long time.

Ashland13 posted 8/2/2013 20:23 PM

I would grab the job, quickly.

What I hear is that alimony is not always open-ended, rather, comes with a timer and is for a transitional state of life, kind of like social services funds. At least that's the description of it I've been given.

Taking the job would likely show good things for your part, too, in the eyes of the court and lawyers...it would show great effort on your part and that counts, even for character building. Any job I've been doing, L puts in the notes, even volunteer, to show effort on my part and that I'm not just sitting around.

And the job seems kind of definite, where alimony sounds hazy at best, so you could know you had any money coming.

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