People love to describe stay-at-home spouses like lazy freeloaders who do nothing but sip wine and watch television all day. While stay-at-home parents and homemakers do occasionally indulge in a few minutes of self care, every waking moment of their life often revolves around their family members.
You may have chosen to replace a lucrative and mentally-stimulating career for the unpaid, thankless and intellectually exhausting job of caring for a newborn infant or a toddler. You have obviously devoted everything you could to your marriage and the children you share with your spouse.
If you now know that you need to get a divorce, you may worry about what right you will have and whether you will be capable of supporting yourself once you split from your partner.
The Texas courts will recognize your contribution to the household
Your decision to stay home benefits not only the children but also your spouse who can therefore focus completely on their career. Additionally, they can count on you for services that would cost them possibly more than their salary if they had to hire a professional to do them.
Researchers estimate that the average stay-at-home parents contribute services that would earn a salary of $178,201. This is because they perform a wide variety of services and do so on-call essentially 24 hours a day. The value of your labor will play a part in the court’s decision about how to split up your property.
It can also influence them about how they handle alimony, especially if you have stayed married for more than 10 years or if either you or one of your children has a disabling medical condition.
You don’t have to earn it to partially own it
Even if your spouse was the one earning all the income for your household, that doesn’t mean they get to keep everything when you get divorced. The property acquired and income earned during your marriage is most likely marital property that you both have a claim to. Your name doesn’t have to be on the retirement account to receive a portion of it if your spouse accrued the balance during your marriage.
Talking to a lawyer about your contributions to the marriage and your plans for the future can help you better plan for divorce strategies as a dependent stay-at-home spouse.