Divorce is never an easy decision, and if you have been a stay-at-home mother for most or all of your marriage, the knowledge that everything will soon change can be petrifying. Questions plague your waking moments. Will you need to get a job? Should you start looking for one now? Who will help with your children? How will you pay the bills? Will you be able to stay in your home?
Knowing what to expect, understanding your rights, and keeping your family's best interests at heart will help you make the best choices. Take a deep breath and take it one step at a time.
Check Your Budget
Painstakingly look over your family's current income and expenses. Make sure you understand all of your marital assets clearly and that you are aware of any debt. This knowledge will help you and your divorce attorney determine what you will be entitled to and what you will be responsible for following your divorce.You should also establish how much money you will need to make ends meet, which will help you decide what steps to take next.
Devise a Plan for the Near Future
Write down the major goals you need to work toward, such as finding a job, childcare, and a place to live that you can afford. Break those objectives into smaller ambitions, such as updating your resume, looking at daycare facilities, or creating a realistic budget. Avoid looking too far ahead, as this can feel overwhelming. Instead, focus only on the imminent future.
Make Use of Assistance and Support
Reach out to your divorce attorney to determine whether you are entitled to any spousal or child support and, if so, how much and for how long. Find programs that can support you in reaching your goals, such as a grant that enables you to return to school. You might qualify for a childcare subsidy, community classes to help you reenter the workforce or assistance paying for food, shelter, and other necessities. Understand that many types of funding are temporary, so it is essential that you take steps to become self-sufficient. Request mentoring from someone you respect and admire to assist you in your career decisions.
View This as an Opportunity
Mourning your marriage is perfectly normal, but don't become stuck. You are gaining the freedom to make life decisions entirely on your own. List the current circumstances about which you are unhappy and create ways to change them. For instance, going back to school might mean online classes and late nights, but if the result is a rewarding career, it may be worthwhile. Alternatively, perhaps now is the perfect time to begin the home business you have always dreamed about. You alone are in charge of your life and your future. Make it count!