When A Stay At Home Parent May Not Be Automatically Favored In A Custody Award In A Divorce
In this article, you will learn:
- The spouse that will be required to pay support and how it may be calculated
- What to expect during a divorce as a stay-at-home parent
If the stay-at-home person has been watching the children, maybe they don’t go to school, maybe they are home-schooled, there is definitely going to be some consideration given to those factors. If the person who works outside the home is somebody who is traveling quite a bit or just is rarely with the children and has spent very little time with the children, that will also be considered. The relationship with the children in general is going to be considered, not necessarily to a an advantage or to a disadvantage, but it’s something that is going to be considered moving forward. Additionally, the court is not going to order parenting time arrangements that are not workable. For example, if one of the parties is travelling significantly, it’s going to be hard to set up a parenting time arrangement around that schedule, and that will need to be considered.
The court is not going to set up a parenting time arrangement for a person who is not going to be present. It has to be something that is going to work for the parties. So, whether that is an advantage or a disadvantage, it’s not automatic. These are factors that we would look at in terms of how to set up a parenting time arrangement.
It’s important to understand that custody and parenting time are two different things. Parenting time is the time that children spend with each parent, and then custody is about who makes the decision for the children. In Minnesota, there is a presumption for joint legal custody when the parties have been married. There is no such presumption for physical custody, but those custody labels are about making decisions for the children such as where they go to school, what religion they are brought up in, and any other types of philosophical things that parents teach their children growing up.
So, when joint legal custody is being considered, there are factors that go into that determination of custody. But generally speaking, there is a presumption towards joint legal custody. That changes, however, if there is domestic abuse between the parties, but generally speaking, joint legal custody is preferred. Physical custody is about daily decisions for the children, the extra-curricular activities that they are going to be involved with, where are they going to live, and there is no presumption for or against that but, it is important to understand that it is not necessarily a disadvantage when one of the parties is working outside of the home, or if one of the parties is a stay-at-home parent. The courts want something that is, generally speaking, fair for both parties or at least equitable.
How To Know If The Working Spouse Will Be Required To Provide The Same Lifestyle To The Stay-At-Home Parent That He Or She Had During The Marriage?
If the working spouse is still working and making a significant amount of money, it’s going to be more likely that they are going to have to provide some of the same financial benefits to the stay-at-home party as they did when they were married. Still, Minnesota courts want both parties to be able to support themselves and to work towards the goal of supporting themselves and supporting the children after the marriage. The parties can agree that the working spouse is going to stay home and take care of the children, but that’s not necessarily what a court is going to order.
The court will encourage the parties to both support themselves because they are going to be going down different paths. But, that depends on the length of the marriage. If the parties have been together for decades and one of the spouses had never worked, and is not qualified to enter the workforce, that’s going to be a consideration. It is going to be important that the children have the same lifestyle they did while the parents were married, but whether the other parent does or not is really going to depend on the circumstances of the case. Often, one of the things that causes stress in a relationship and sometimes leads to divorce is when the working spouse, in the case that there is a stay-at-home parent, loses their job and things change so significantly for both parties that the relationship just can’t continue. So, they wind up in a situation where they are getting divorced.
In the case where the provider has lost their employment, the court is not going to say that party has to provide spousal maintenance. The fact is, that the spouse who is not working is not able to work, and how can they then provide for somebody else if they aren’t even able to support themselves. So, it really depends on the circumstances of the case.
Calculating The Value That The Working Spouse Provides To The Family In A Divorce
In Minnesota, the law presumes that both parties to the marriage have provided for the family, and have provide equally to the family. Now, sometimes the court will look at that a little bit differently, and some of the things might be divided differently if one person has worked quite a bit towards something. It may be that the court decides that person takes a certain thing. For example, a business that’s created during the marriage. If one person has worked on that solely, it may be that the business goes solely to that person, but the other person may be awarded financial equalization, but it depends on the case.
For more information on Determining Custody & Parenting Time In A Divorce, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (763) 284-5552 today.