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I’m a divorcing stay-at-home mom, should I ask for alimony?

The question we pose in this week’s post title may seem like an archaic one considering the fact that women make up a little more than half of the labor force, according to the most recent report from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But we assure you that it’s not only a question that is asked from time to time in states across the nation, including here in California, but one that has a number of women concerned about their financial security after divorce.

With more and more states reforming alimony laws to reflect the changes in the workforce, it’s not hard to see why some women, who have been stay-at-home moms for a majority of their adult life, would be concerned about their financial security after a divorce. Most women in this position do not have the education nor the skills necessary to reenter the workforce and get a high paying job. This oftentimes can leave them struggling financially after a divorce as they try to support themselves and their children.

While some people may consider spousal support to be out dated because of equal employment opportunities for women in the workplace, it’s in instances such as the one above that alimony payments might be considered necessary.

So should a stay-at-home mom here in California ask for alimony during a divorce?

If a woman hasn’t worked in a significant number of years and does not have a college education, then requesting alimony may be necessary, especially because it may be difficult for her to reenter the workforce immediately after a divorce. On the other hand, if a woman does have a college education or other skills that would qualify her for employment soon after separation, then a request for alimony may not be necessary.

Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on the woman’s situation and the discussions she has had with her attorney about what is in her best interest.

Source: Forbes, “Stay-at-Home Mom Facing Divorce? Don’t Expect Alimony,” Emma Johnson, Oct. 27, 2014