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The Dilemma of the Stay-at-Home Spouse Facing Divorce – and How to Overcome It

Little to no real access to household finances can make you feel powerless.

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Let’s say you left the job market to stay at home and take care of your children. Or you left your full-time job and went part-time. Either way, presuming that your spouse is the primary breadwinner, you may not feel as though you have the means to protect yourself if you are facing divorce.

You cannot adequately protect yourself and your children, unless you have the right tools in place.

The right tool in these circumstances may be what is called a temporary order. But before we get to temporary orders, you need to know why you need to protect yourself in the first place.

What’s at stake for the stay-at-home spouse:

  • The need to keep the children healthy and safe
  • The need to keep yourself healthy and safe
  • The ability to purchase groceries and other household goods
  • The ability to keep the children in their current home
  • The financial means to seek the advice of professionals that can help advise you on divorce, such as lawyers and financial planners

All of these needs depend on your ability to maintain the status quo, so to speak. But if you’re facing a divorce situation – especially one that involves domestic violence or other forms of abuse and/or you aren’t the primary breadwinner – you may lack the means to protect yourself.

That is where temporary orders can make a difference.

Are you hesitant to initiate divorce proceedings?

Many stay-at-home spouses worry about their ability to initiate divorce proceedings, or even to seek advice about the possibility of getting divorced. The prospect of divorce may cause the working spouse to act irrationally – perhaps cutting off the stay-at-home spouse from the money needed to take the steps he or she needs to make to move forward.

Temporary orders maintain the status quo.

As a stay-at-home spouse, you can seek a temporary order, which means that a judge may order the working spouse to provide child and spousal support so that you can make ends meet during the course of divorce proceedings. These orders can be quite specific, detailing use of the home, cars, and other items.

To learn more about temporary orders, call us at 303-395-4773.


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Litigation is a journey. This is a journey we have taken with our clients a countless number of times. If you face the uncertainty, risk, fear, anger, or disbelief that comes with the prospect of going through a legal dispute, the law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. will help you through it.