Can Stay-at-Home Moms Count on Alimony?

Are you a stay-at-home mom who is on the brink of divorce? Did you give up your career to raise your children? Have you been out of the workforce for so long, your skills are outdated? Did you devote years to taking care of your children, your home, and your husband? If you're expecting spousal support, you may be in for a big shocker.

Increasingly, judges nationwide are saying to stay-at-home mothers (and fathers), "You need to get a job." In recent years, most states have revisited their spousal support or maintenance laws, and they've taken steps to put limits on the duration of support, and created standardized methods for calculating support. Many women are surprised to learn that judges are denying spousal support altogether, even in cases where women had been out of the workforce for years.

Just as we can thank "gender equality" for providing husbands with spousal support, we can also thank it for denying it to more stay-at-home parents. In other words, the gender barrier is systematically breaking down and more (and more) judges are believing that women have just as much opportunity as men – even if they haven't worked in decades.

Even though upwards of 90% of the people who receive alimony are women, a lot has changed since the 1950s. Women are no longer "economically disadvantaged" like they were in their mothers' generation. These days, women rival their male counterparts in regards to college degrees, professional licenses, and even pay in some fields.

A New Reality for Stay-at-Home Moms

In the past, a stay-at-home mom facing divorce could count on child support and spousal support, but many stay-at-home moms are realizing that much has changed in the last 10 years. Some judges will outright tell a woman that caring for children does not absolve her from the responsibility to support herself. Sometimes, a woman receives little sympathy from a judge, especially when the judge is a woman who hired a full-time nanny or placed her children in daycare so she could have a successful career.

Of course, there are exceptions, especially when a husband is wealthy, or when the mother has to stay home to care for the couple's extremely disabled child. In many cases though, the stay-at-home mom has no other choice but to find a job asap.

If you're looking for a San Diego divorce attorney, contact Claery & Hammond, LLP today!