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Divorce for the stay at home mom

Lsja posted 10/31/2020 23:57 PM

I'm so scared right now. I'm closer to leaving my husband than I've ever been. I've been a stay at home Mom for more than 10 years now. I have a bachelors degree, but its not really a money maker, and that ship has already sailed.

I know I'll need to go back to school for a new career start. It will be 2 years before I can start that career.

I've had a preliminary discussion with a law office. They said I'd most likely get spousal support because I've been married for 20 years, and also child support.

I have no savings, so I'd be starting with nothing. I'd probably get at least half of what we get from selling the house.

I need a pep talk from those who have done it. Can I do this??? Its so scary!

leafields posted 11/1/2020 08:12 AM

I'm not a SAHM, but I can give you a pro talk. I moved into my own place in January after over 30 years of marriage. After not having to pour up with STBXWH's crap, I'm finally able to feel happy and content.

You're stronger than you realize. Look what you've been through. Moving forward will have its struggles, but is so much better than the alternative. There are hard parts - you will probably miss your UH because your life has been entwined for so long. But you can work through that.

Your state's unemployment office has a program for displaced housewives. Get in touch with them and see what kind of help you can receive. Your local YWCA may have a program that will help with a back to work wardrobe.

My kids are adults now, and you know what I've learned? They saw how STBXWH treated me and they can't believe I stayed married to him for so long. My youngest is living with me by choice because he doesn't want to put up with his dad. In little conversations, he's said that it's so nice that STBXWH is not here because his negative comments would make use miserable. Your kids will be ok and maybe even like being out of your stressful situation.

Next, it's time to put on your bitch boots and remember that you're a BASGU - bad ass sparkling unicorn goddess. But something that makes you feel like a goddess when you where it. (Mine is some really pretty underwear.) Thinking about leaving is a huge step, and you'll need to do what's best for you - but you can do this!

Anna123 posted 11/1/2020 08:37 AM

Good advice here.^^^^

I used the displaced housewife help to get training for a new career that I love. Not big bucks but enough to support myself combined with exes alimony and child support. Meanwhile I highly recommend getting ahead of the curve by inputting all expenses into Quickbooks or something similar, finding our your true historical expenses and what you can cut-out, and finding a living situation well below your means so you can SAVE. This is for your eyes only. The expenses you put on your divorce disclosures will be much higher and are your actual current expenses and additions your lawyer says to put down.

The best thing to do is to get ahead of the child support curve with a decent savings so if something happened with his payments you aren't left broke.

The best part of all of this is you will be the master of your own destiny, which is scary at first after over 20 years of marriage, but not only doable, but liberating in it's true sense. Once there are no surprises in your day to day finances, you can sit back, eat beans and rice in a tiny apartment if you have to, and truly enjoy life without any drama.

BTW, start high on your alimony/child support demands! It is YOUR money since he broke the partnership. He will fight you so you need to start high. You want him relieved to pay you what you actually need, you don't want to start there or he will whittle it down.

Sorry to have to welcome you to the club but it's a good club I promise.

Gottagetthrough posted 11/1/2020 09:44 AM

Yes, you can. I was in a similar spot 10 years ago. He left me for ow, i was a sahm and had a 4 month old and 4 year old the day he left (thanksgiving)

I looked for jobs and sent out 33 resumes- got 2 interviews and only one offer. That one offer was for a job in a city where, when i went for the interview, traffic got so bad it took two hours to make it to the interview. For a prt time, minimun wage job, i was not going to do that every day

Daycare would have been more expensive than what i was making.

I survived off of child support and alimony. Lived in a small apartment. You just adjust how you live. I stayed a sahm.

I actually am much more frugal than wh and found it was easy to stay within my means. When we have been married (we Reconciled after that separation for 8 years 2012-2020), its been MUCH harder to live within our means because he just wont. If i dont have the money, i dont buy it. He was raised differently- MIL has declared bankruptcy 2x, and both of his sisters have once- so he spends and spends.

But yes. You CAN do it

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 9:45 AM, November 1st (Sunday)]

Lsja posted 11/1/2020 10:56 AM

A big fear is that I won't be able to juggle full time school, being a mother, and a job all at the same time, but i feel like I need a job right away to support myself.

Or is it possible survive on alimony and child support until I finish school. I don't need any luxuries. I just want a small, safe, clean place to live with my dogs and child.

And then there is insurance. How does a newly divorced mom with no job pay for that?

I guess this question is more for a lawyer, but some of you might have experience with it...is it better to stay jobless while the divorce/alimony stuff gets sorted out? I wonder if that tips the scales more in my favor.

Anna123 posted 11/1/2020 12:13 PM

The insurance is one of the marriage expenses to be considered in the alimony. It is best for you to pay it and have it added to alimony.

Your lawyer may tell you to wait on the job just like you said and yes, that is what I was told and heard was best. Any income you make will be taken out of the alimony. Since you have small children they can't force a full time salary adjustment without adding in child care expenses. Your lawyer should consider all of those numbers. Even though you are fine be frugal, the lawyer will present as they see fit.

leafields posted 11/1/2020 13:56 PM

The displaced homemaker program gives you grant money to go to school. It should be enough so you won't have to work when combined with spousal support and child support.

For health insurance, take a look at the state health insurance program. They usually have a help line you can call with questions. Or call the billing office for your doctor and ask them for the pro's and con's of the plans in your area.

Lsja posted 11/3/2020 10:05 AM

Thank you for the advice. I'm slowly inching closer to the edge of the cliff. I'm just trying to find my footing so I can make the leap. I'm so scared though! There are so many unknowns and nothing feels safe.

Have any of you taken advantage of the displaced homemaker program? I did some digging but couldn't really find much information about it.

I have an preliminary consultation appointment with a lawyer tomorrow. I'm working on a list of questions to bring with me.

little turtle posted 11/3/2020 11:01 AM

I was a stay at home mom when I got divorced. I found a cooperative townhouse community that my parents helped me purchase. I could afford the monthly charges, electric, cable, and food with my child support money. Gas and water were included as well as lawn/snow services. My kids were 3 and 4.5 when I moved into my own place. Later that year, I got a part time contract position that I still do. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, I was able to get health insurance.

Why do you need another degree to get a job?

How much money will you potentially get from your STBX? How old are your kids?

barcher144 posted 11/3/2020 12:01 PM

Yes, you can do this.

You are the perfect candidate for spousal maintenance. You've been a stay at home parent... and you need some education to re-start your career.

It sounds like you have been getting legal advice, which is also good.

I don't know if I recommend "bitch boots" but I do like the "BASGU - bad ass sparkling unicorn goddess."

I would also tell you that your situation will not get better by procrastinating on a divorce. Divorces are awful, painful, slow, and expensive. But delaying a divorce only makes it worse.

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