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Financial concerns for stay-at-home parents

When people in Kentucky decide to divorce, there are a number of factors that go into the final settlement. While the emotional and practical aspects of ending a marriage can be the most prominent issues at first, the financial effects of a divorce can linger long after the decree is final. The concerns about financial impact can be especially severe when one spouse is a stay-at-home parent. Across the country, around 25 percent of mothers and 7 percent of fathers stay home to raise the children. This can be a strong choice for many couples, who often value family caregiving and want to provide their children with a nurturing home environment.

At the same time, stay-at-home parents may face a difficult transition after a divorce. People who spend years outside the workforce may face lower salaries and job titles than those who never interrupted their careers to care for children. This is true even for the 10 percent of highly educated American mothers with a master's degree or higher who choose to stay at home. These parents often give up a lucrative career of their own in a joint decision to focus on raising the children.

A stay-at-home parent can also provide a significant career boost to the other spouse. With a full-time parent in the house, the working spouse is free to take up business travel, launch a business or work long hours, increasing his or her salary for the benefit of the family. In a divorce, however, those calculations change considerably.

Studies show that different groups of people value the contributions of stay-at-home parents differently when it comes time for property division in a divorce. A divorcing parent can work with a family law attorney for representation throughout the divorce process, including developing an agreement on asset distribution and spousal support.

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