A primary obstacle for many people seeking divorce is the potential expense. This is especially true for those who work as a homemaker and do not have an income of their own. Being a homemaker entails endless work, but it does not come with formal pay, and the prospect of hiring a divorce attorney may therefore seem simply out of the question for homemakers in Illinois.
Fortunately, there are things you can do as a homemaking spouse to pursue divorce, even without an income of your own. You do not have to stay trapped in an abusive or untenable relationship forever. Here are some tips for stay-at-home parents considering divorce in Illinois.
Start Preparing Now
Although you may not be earning an income, you likely have access to your and your spouse’s shared finances. Even if you do not, the time before the divorce is a great time to begin understanding what you and your spouse have in terms of assets and debts. Many resources allow you to check your credit for free, and although taking out debt may not be optimal, credit cards or lines of credit can give you access to money if you need it.
Begin discussing your situation with family and friends and find out if you have a place you can stay during the divorce if your home becomes unsafe or unavailable. Although many potential divorcees are nervous or embarrassed to share the details of their situation, most people are surprised to discover how sympathetic and helpful the people who love them can be.
Gathering important documents before you file for divorce may make it easier to get the information you need during the divorce discovery process, during which attorneys request and gather information from both spouses. Once a divorce begins, spouses can make it much more difficult to get the necessary documents. Start collecting financial statements, tax returns, and any other documents that will allow you to prove your spouse’s income and your overall financial picture.
File for Interim Spousal Maintenance
Formerly known as “alimony,” spousal maintenance requires one spouse to give the other money during or after a divorce. Interim, or temporary, spousal maintenance can be an important part of ensuring spouses without an income of their own are not trapped in bad marriages forever by requiring the working spouse to pay for the attorney’s fees of the homemaker spouse. Homemakers can request interim spousal maintenance during divorce proceedings to help pay for the expenses of the divorce, as well as household and childcare expenses. Although it is ultimately up to an Illinois court whether to award interim spousal maintenance, courts will generally consider the financial situation of both spouses when they make a decision.
Speak with a Wheaton Divorce Lawyer
If you are a homemaker considering divorce, know that you have options. An experienced DuPage County divorce attorney with Andrew Cores Family Law Group can help you get divorced, even if you are not employed. We provide free, confidential consultations so you can find out more about the divorce process and start making a plan for your future. Call our offices today at 630-871-1002.