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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10484
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I am a stay at home mother and I would like to know how I

Customer Question

I am a stay at home mother and I would like to know how I could claim spousal financial support while I am in search of a job...or...should I even look at this job thing till after the divorce.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your patience;

So spousal support is governed by section 767.56 and as you will see, there are several factors the court can consider, including, per the last factor, anything the judge deems relevant. As such the particular judge assigned to the case is given a broad range of discretion in determining whether support is necessary and if so, how much; here are the factors enumerated in the statute:

The length of the marriage.

(b) The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.

(c) The division of property made under s. 767.61.

(d) The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.

(e) The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to find appropriate employment.

(f) The feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and, if so, the length of time necessary to achieve this goal.

(g) The tax consequences to each party.

(h) Any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage, according to the terms of which one party has made financial or service contributions to the other with the expectation of reciprocation or other compensation in the future, if the repayment has not been made, or any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning any arrangement for the financial support of the parties.

(i) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.

(j) Such other factors as the court may in each individual case determine to be relevant.

So basically a caregiver parent is not expected to work right away, as the courts often encourage "stability" for the sake of the children; so if the children are young (pre-teen) the court may only expect the parent to work when they are at school (provided that a part time job is available in one's line of work).

If the caregiver parent has been active in volunteering at the child's school, then the court would want that to continue usually, at least for the interim period (again, the stability issue).

If a parent is actively pursuing a degree, and there are still credits to be earned, generally the court will not expect that parent to be primary caregiver, attend school, and work -that is usually too burdensome.

The court will likely construe an agreement between the parties- ie that the working parent would support the schooling parent, and will not expect that parent to seek employment at this time, and will generally award support so that the education can be completed. The courts tend to encourage education, particularly at the level sought, precisely because it reduces/eliminates the need for ongoing spousal support, because presumably the individual will be self supporting (or more self supporting) once they obtain the degree.

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(no additional charges are incurred).

Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Hi- just checking in to see if you needed clarification on any of the above information. If so please post here (there is no additional charge for this) and I will do my best to get you the requested information.

Thank you!