Why It May Be Challenging For A Stay-At-Home Parent To Initiate A Divorce?
- What to expect financially during a divorce as a stay-at-home parent
- How someone who is not financially in control can still attain resources in a divorce
If one of the parties controls all the finances and the other person doesn’t have access to the finances, it can be really difficult to find an attorney. Some folks might, when they do have access to money, put some money aside to save up for a retainer fee. Blind to your spouse is not what I recommend, but sometimes things are just not even enough to be able to do what you need to do in a way that’s transparent and honest.
What To Do As A Stay At Home Spouse If Your Other Spouse Who Controls The Finances Wants A Divorce?
If you can ask for the finances to be able to get an attorney, that’s probably the fast way to do it. It’s hard as an attorney to be able to take on a client not knowing that they are going to pay you. There are other clients that are able and willing to pay, so it’s really a difficult thing for an attorney to be able to take that on. There are things that the court can do to order the other person to pay the fees, but that’s not available in every case. It usually depends on need. The other thing that some people do is reach out to friends or family to help them finance their legal needs. I know one person who set up a GoFundMe page to be able to finance that retainer, and we were able to work on her case successfully and get her spousal maintenance because it was needed in that particular case. It’s not every case, but it’s something that we can try to do. I would say to lean into your family and your support network if you are able to do that.
How The Working Spouse May Be Required To Pay Attorney’s Fees For The Non-Working Spouse In Minnesota?
It doesn’t necessarily matter who initiates a divorce. The working spouse can be required to pay the attorney’s fees for the non-working partner just in the name of equity, and it’s different too depending on the financial circumstances of both of the parties. If one of the parties is making a significant amount of money, let’s say over $10,000 a month or along those lines, and the other parent is the stay-at-home parent, that is a really uneven income, and it would be more likely in a situation like that where the court would order the attorney fees paid. Again, it’s not every case, and if neither party has any money, it’s challenging for the court to order the person who is working to pay those fees if the ability to pay is not there.
Receiving A Fair Division Of Assets And Financial Support For Myself And My Children Even If I Didn’t Financially Contribute To Our Income
Minnesota law has a presumption that both parties in a marriage have contributed equitably to the relationship and are entitled to an equitable division of the assets and financial support. However, when I say equitable, that doesn’t necessarily mean equal. It depends on the circumstances of the parties. If one of the parties has significant need, that need is going to be very important. If one of the parties has been at home for decades maybe, that is going to be a factor that the courts will look at when considering the division of assets and finances that are available to the parties, and the court is going to look at whether that person can go, now after decades, back into the workforce and be able to support themselves and their children.
If the person can’t do that, for whatever reason, the court will want to make sure that there is some equity there for that person if they can no longer work. Now, if it’s a shorter-term marriage, that is not going to weigh as heavily towards the stay-at-home parent, but it will have some weight. If the stay-at-home parent will need to go back to school and finish a degree to be able to support themselves, temporary spousal maintenance might be ordered. It really does depend on the facts of the case and the circumstances of both parties, as well as the children in terms of the division of assets.
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