A word for working spouses in divorces
We can all agree that divorce can be difficult financially on both parties involved. This includes the spouse who works 60-70 hours per week outside the home (commonly the father), as well as the stay-at-home spouse who has taken time to raise the children (in most instances, the mother). Both parties may believe that a potential financial settlement may be patently unfair, but this post should help both parties understand that their version of a “fair” settlement may be unattainable
Moreover, it will highlight the reasons why it is important to set their differences aside and work together towards a settlement.
For the working spouse, it is important to understand that that all the years you spent building a 401(k) retirement plan or a pension fund does not mean that all of that money is simply yours to keep. After all, when you initially said “I do,” you also pledged to share in that income with your spouse.
Indeed, your spouse wasn’t present for the countless meetings, did not make any business decisions or forged any relationships that made the business or corporation successful, but the law takes into consideration a spouse’s ability (or inability) to get back into the workforce after a prolonged absence. For a spouse that essentially sacrificed a portion of their career to raise children, it may take longer (and thus more money) to obtain a job.
While this is one of the many reasons why family courts may make decisions regarding spousal support in divorce, it is also indicative of why divorcing spouses may fare better by putting their differences aside and working towards a mutually beneficial solution.