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The stay-at-home parent's guide to divorce

As a stay-at-home parent, you're in a precarious position when your spouse decides to get a divorce. You currently don't work, because you take care of your children. Your spouse has a high-paying job and has always provided for you, but now that income will no longer be open to you.

How can you survive? That's a question many people in your position ask. Fortunately, there is an easy answer, and it's called alimony. Additionally, you'll have a right to a certain amount of assets from your marriage.

The division of your assets isn't necessarily going to be half and half. Instead, the division of assets is equitable. The assets from your marriage are divided fairly. That could mean that you're entitled to a larger portion of assets than your spouse. It could also mean that you're entitled to half of everything you own together.

Alimony is usually paid in addition to the assets you divide. Alimony doesn't fall under strict guidelines, so the judge has a lot of say in how much you receive. It's a good idea to work with your attorney to determine how much money you'll need to survive each month and how long it will take you to get back on your feet. Alimony is not usually permanent anymore, which means you may have a finite amount of alimony paid to you just to give you enough time to get back into school or find substantial work.

It's wise not to expect alimony, but you should seek it if you've been out of work because of supporting your spouse's job. You take care of the family, and that's a valuable act. You need compensation to gain new skills and to reenter the job market. Alimony is more likely to be awarded in situations like that, especially since your high-earning spouse can afford it.

If you're worried about how you're going to support yourself after divorce, your attorney can talk to you about your options. Whether it's seeking out more of your marital assets or going after alimony, there is likely to be a solution to your concerns.

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