How to Survive Divorce as a Stay-at-Home Mom

I find myself supporting quite a few stay-at-home moms with their divorces. I think that's because stay-at-home moms know with absolute certainty that they cannot afford to make costly financial mistakes in their divorce settlements. When you don't have your own income and your income is entirely dependent on someone else, you can feel extremely vulnerable when going through a divorce.

Beyond merely being vulnerable, many stay-at-home moms feel real barriers to getting the advice they need when going through a divorce, especially those who do not have access to money of their own. Here are some professional tips for stay-at-home moms.

For more information about preparing for divorce, check out our book: When It's Just Not Work: A Practical Divorce Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms

Tips on How to Survive Divorce as Stay-at-Home Mom from a Professional

  1. Do not allow fear to make your decisions for you. One of the biggest mistakes that I see stay-at-home moms make is racking up the legal bills out of fear. Here's the thing. There's only so much money to go around. The more you spend on legal bills, the less there will be to go around. If you are using an attorney, be strategic about how you use this resource. For ways to save on your divorce, see the post: 10 Ways to Save Money on Your Divorce.
  2. Borrow money from someone you trust. If you do not have access to your own money, borrow from family member or friend to cover your immediate needs. Just keep in mind that you will need to pay them back from your divorce settlement.
  3. Consider mediation to settle your divorce. While mediation is not right for everyone, there are some significant benefits to using the process. First and foremost, it gives you significantly more control over the process than going to court. It also tends to be a much more affordable option.

While I've worked with numerous stay-at-home moms, I don't think anyone can tell it better than someone who has been in your shoes. Below, you'll find some advice from someone who has been where you are today.

Related post: How to Prepare for Divorce for Stay-at-Home Moms

Stay home mom divorce

How to survive divorce as a stay-at-home mom from my personal experience

by Guest Contributor, Kelly Greene

So you’re getting a divorce. I know what you’re thinking. You stayed home with the kids, you put your career on hold, you supported your spouse by tending to the home while he worked. And now this. You probably have very little retirement money saved, and you probably aren’t sure if you could even get a job anymore.  You are starting to panic. Well, I've been there. Here's my divorce advice on how to survive divorce for stay-at-home moms.

First, take a deep breath.

Okay, first of all, let me give you some honest advice from someone who was there: Don’t play the victim. Don’t play the weak single mom card.  Yes I know, he may have cheated, you didn’t see it coming, he’s flaunting his new young, hot girlfriend all over town while you sit at home still wearing your maternity pants.

You will be fine.

You really will. I promise you.  My news was dropped on me like a bomb. I shared my victim story with anyone who would listen. Whoa was me, what would I do? I had stayed home with my kids, worked part-time here and there, and although I had a master’s degree,  I never really used it. My employment had provided us with our “play money.”  My head was swirling. I had visions of living in a shelter with my kids.

Then one day, I decided to say, "Screw this!"  I was a strong and powerful woman. I was going through what I always feared, but here I was tackling it head-on. The world suddenly became my oyster.  I got out there and found a job that could support my kids and me.

Gather your team.

Inevitably you will find yourself sitting in a divorce professional’s office at some point.  Choose your team wisely.  Partnering with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and a Mediator is a great, inexpensive option.  You may not feel it now, but you can walk away from your divorce, feeling confident if you have the right team to support you.

Take a look at your skillset.

Maybe it’s been a long time since you held a “job,” but take a look at what you do daily for your family. Event planning, calendar management, meal preparation, childcare, etc., with some creative resume writing, these are all easily transferable skills to a paid position.

Change your thinking.

This is the time to rediscover and reinvent yourself. Take full advantage of that! Go back to school, explore new careers, new hobbies, new interests.  Don’t get stuck and don’t feel like you need to sit at home and do nothing because of your children. Believe me, your children will see your strength and growth and feel empowered by it!  I can personally attest to that!  Not too long ago, my teenage daughter told me that she’s really proud of me. She said I’m much nicer and happier since my divorce. She said when I was married, I was just “Mom,” and she really didn’t know anything about me.  I felt so grateful that she saw the positive changes and growth I had made since my divorce.

You can do this!

Dig out those lacy big girl panties from the back of the drawer (or better yet, buy some new ones) and tackle the world like the powerful, strong warrior woman that you are!

Are you ready for some assistance?

If you are facing a divorce and would like some help navigating the financial obstacles, contact us for a Strategy Session. You don't have to go through this alone. We'll be there with you every step of the way.

For more information about preparing for divorce, check out our book: When It's Just Not Work: A Practical Divorce Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms

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