Back To Work After Raising Kids? 5 Questions to Consider

This is a guest post from author and columnist Lisa Thomson. Lisa is a contributor to Huffington Post and Divorced Moms. To read more about Lisa and her story, visit www.LisaThomsonLive.com

This one is for the stay-at-home moms. I was one, too and I loved it while it lasted. Divorce changes everything, in a good way.

Cast your memory back, when you found out you were pregnant you were likely overwhelmed and delighted by the prospect of entering a new phase in your life; motherhood.  We want to do what’s best for our babies. Thus begins the long path of putting our children’s needs before our own.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing however as we learn years later, the decision we thought was best at one point can end up hurting us.

If you are like me and stayed home to raise your children you inadvertently have given up the prospects of furthering your career during those years. The rewards and benefits of staying home are invaluable to our children but there is a price to pay in the event of divorce.

We stay-at-home moms (“SAHMs”) are very vulnerable during divorce since we find ourselves with outdated skills and let’s be honest, at a complete career loss. What am I going to do now? we ask.  I’ve been there and I’m here to tell you it’s not as bad as it seems.  There is hope for a new beginning.

Rather than jumping in head first to the first job that will take you. Stop. Take a deep breath and ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. How can my skills before I stayed home to raise the children, benefit me today?
  2. What are my interests, hobbies, passions?
  3. What do I have to do to update past skills?
  4. What are the cost v. benefit and time commitment to start a new education program or career?
  5. What type of work/career will be sustainable into older age?

Divorced MomsCareful analysis of these questions can lead you to some valuable answers.  The bottom line is you want to do something you are at least interested in, hopefully passionate about.

Also, if you are upgrading past skills you need to consider what it will cost and whether or not you’ll be able to continue that line of work into older age.  In other words, what are the physical demands of your previous work?

Perhaps it would be better to start over with a new career enabling longer term employment. For example, I was in the career of Phys. Ed and Recreation.  My previous work experiences were highly physically demanding and I knew there was no way I could sustain that type of work into my 50′s or 60’s. Also, after being out of the field for several years my interests and passions had changed.  So I asked myself should I invest in upgrading in a career I had little interest in?  No.  I decided to pursue a new program in Interior Design.  This made sense for flexibility of hours and sustainability of work.  I could do this type of work well into my 60′s if I wanted or had to.  Also, the program available allowed for part time study so I would still have time to care for my children.  This seemed ideal looking at the ‘big picture’.

Often during divorce your ex’s lawyer will pressure you to get a job because if you are earning an income of any kind, your ex will pay less in spousal/alimony support.  So the lawyer is trying to get your ex the best deal by encouraging you to get a job.

Yes, you will have to work, but know that the purpose of alimony and spousal support is to transition you from the marital role to independence and this includes allowing you time to upgrade and take up a new education.  So there is no need to rush out and get a minimum wage job and have no time for your children who likely still need you?

Look at this as a time of growth and new opportunities.  It isn’t the easiest transition but you will come out of it with new skills and increased self esteem. Your kids will be proud of your accomplishments too. So it’s a little scary, but taking the proper time to figure out what you want to pursue, you will be happier in the long run.

Were you a stay at home mom?  How and what did you choose for work, post divorce?

Divorced MomsLisa Thomson is the author of The Great Escape; A Girl’s Guide To Leaving a Marriage, an informative self help guide full of practical tips and personal stories. Co-Parenting, Budgeting, hiring a lawyer, parental alienation, social changes to expect are all topics Lisa tackles in this all encompassing and riveting read. When not writing, Lisa loves to dabble in lots of mischief. She currently lives happily unmarried. Visit her blog to read more and you can also connect with Lisa on Facebook and Twitter

Purchase the e-book on Amazon, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble or purchase the paperback directly from her website

Child Support is No Laughing Matter When it Comes to Divorce

Each state has their own laws when matters revolve around child support. Knowing the exact payment can weigh on a few different factors, so it is important to consult with a local child support attorney on these laws.

Some general factors include both parent’s wages and income from all sources along with the number of kids within a family.

Other areas of concern circle around the average amount of child care costs, health care costs, benefits or even costs associated with a previous divorce.

It’s important to keep in mind that child support is key to a child’s well-being. With this condition, lower costs are a concern and hiring a lawyer to leverage payments can go a long way for both parties.

For someone to lower a payment, they must show a substantial change in circumstances, which means the individual’s circumstances have changed since the initial order on child support. This may include situations that relate to health concerns of a parent or a change in employment to name a few.

With all of this in mind, how much child support each parent pays can differ significantly. Nonetheless, the relevancy of a lawyer in the matter is vital in all accounts.

To estimate what your child support payment may be, you can use the Tennessee Child Support Worksheet, which can be found here.

For other areas of family law in Murfreesboro, feel free to contact Joe Brandon & Scott Kimberly, Attorneys at Law at 615-890-2399.

Divorce and Legal Separation: Finding Correct Lawyer is a Vital Element

In today’s time, divorce is a common threat to marriage. While reasons and grounds may vary, it remains true that it happens every day.

Many studies claim the divorce rate in the United States is around 50%. In fact, according to the website DivorceRate.org, the United States ranks as the nation with the sixth highest divorce rate in the world.

According to Enrichment Journal, the following is a breakdown of divorce rates based on the number of marriages. With these numbers, it can be said that roughly 40%-50% of marriages may end in legal separation.

  • The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
  • The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
  • The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

With most separation situations in Tennessee, it is in the best interest of the spouses to find the correct lawyer. For an uncontested, agreed divorce, there are a few basic requirements and criteria to keep in mind.

Residency. One of the first requirements of an agreed divorce is a six-month Tennessee residency. To comply, both spouses should have lived in Tennessee for six months at the time of filing. There are other ways to have residency, but this is the main one.

Property Division. Another requirement involves assets. In short, the spouses need to agree on property division. If the spouses share real estate or the spouses are part of a business structure, an agreed divorce may not be the best route. That being said, the spouses should have a clear-cut strategy on how marital property will be divided.

Signed Agreement. One of the final requirements, as in most legal binding matters, is a signed agreement must be fulfilled. With no objections and once signed, this signed agreement becomes the cornerstone of the Final Order of Divorce.

Alimony. Alimony is another item to examine when it comes to agreed divorce. If both parties are not in agreement on alimony, then the divorce may be changed from “uncontested” to “contested” rather quickly.

Remember that finding the right lawyer is a critical part of legal separation and divorce. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office.

Do You Need Your Child Support Changed?

I am often asked by parents paying child support or parents receiving child support: “if something has changed since my child support payment was calculated, how can I get my child support amount changed?”

In short, you have to file a Petition with the Court to modify your child support payment— and you may want to act quickly! While Courts have the authority to modify a child support amount, they can only modify that amount back to the date that a Petition is filed. They can’t do anything about a support amount that has already become due.

Consider the following:

Jack owes Jill $500 per month in child support. In January, Jack finds out he is entitled to a modification. In March, Jack files a Petition to Modify Child Support. In June, the Court enters a new child support order. Because a child support order may only be retroactively applied to the date that a Petition is filed, Jack is entitled to a retroactive modification from March forward; however, because he did not file until March, Jack will not receive a modification for January or February!

The one thing that you should take away from this post is that if you want to modify an existing child support order, you should act quickly! Every month that you let pass without filing a Petition is one more month that a potentially inaccurate award becomes permanently due.

The attorneys at our office have handled dozens of child support modifications. If you think that you may be entitled to a child support modification, give our office a call to discuss your case. Either of the attorneys at our office will meet with your personally, discuss the facts of you case, and explain the law surrounding modifications.

If you or anyone you know need assistance with a child support case, give our office an opportunity to help.

-Scott-