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Preparing for divorce when you’re the spouse who stayed at home

| Mar 4, 2021 | Spousal Support |

Ending a marriage can be difficult regardless of your financial status. However, if you primarily stayed home during the course of your relationship, it can be even harder to obtain an equitable divorce settlement. Therefore, you will need to be proactive in obtaining the resources that you’ll need for a Wisconsin divorce proceeding.

How will you pay your legal fees?

If you still have access to a joint bank account, it may be possible to use funds in it to pay for an attorney. It’s important to note that joint accounts might be frozen at the start of a divorce proceeding. Therefore, you may need to seek permission from the court to use it to pay legal expenses. In some cases, a judge may order your spouse to cover these costs on your behalf.

Learn as much as you can about your household’s finances

You’ll want to know how much a joint bank, brokerage or another type of financial account is worth before negotiating a settlement. This can be done by obtaining copies of the monthly statements that are mailed to your home. It may be possible to get copies of these documents online. If your spouse runs a business, you’ll want to have it appraised as part of the discovery process. It will also be a good idea to have the family home appraised by a real estate professional.

You could be entitled to alimony payments

Even if you are able to work right away, it might take time to create a reasonable lifestyle on your own. Therefore, a judge may order your former spouse to make alimony payments until you are able to support yourself.

Ideally, you will speak to an attorney about your rights during the divorce process. Legal counsel may take steps to help you obtain a sizable share of joint assets, spousal support or other resources in a final settlement.