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Naperville Family Law Firm

If you were a stay-at-home mom or dad during your marriage, and your spouse was the primary source of family income, divorce can present a unique set of challenges. Stay-at-home parents frequently forego education and career opportunities for years and even decades so they can raise children and take care of daily household duties. After a divorce, these parents find themselves re-entering the job market, many with little-to-no work experience and substantial gaps in employment.

Although spousal maintenance (formerly called spousal support or alimony in Illinois) is an option, is it something a divorced stay-at-home parent can expect?

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneyThe image of the traditional American family has evolved from one of a mother, father, and a child or children, to now include the “blended” family. A large portion of families in the United States are part of a blended situation, which means one spouse is either divorced or widowed with children, and has gone on to remarry someone with a similar past. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 1,300 new stepfamilies form each day. This union creates a “his, hers, and ours” situation that was once only seen in TV comedies like “The Brady Bunch.”

Just because this is more common in today’s society does not make the transition any less awkward at first, nor do all tensions easily conclude with a happy ending as seen on TV. Here are a few tips to make your new family work:

Acknowledge the Children's Relationship With Their Other Parent

Although divorce can have a dramatic effect on children, most studies acknowledge children do well post-divorce if both parents continue their parental roles following the separation, regardless of remarriage. Let the child know the new stepparent will not replace their biological parent, but that it is an extension of their current family.

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Illinois divorce lawyerDivorce is a mentally, financially, and emotionally complicated process for all involved. However, there are studies that suggest women may bounce back faster from divorce. Gender roles, social influence, and feelings about independence are all thought to be factors in their resiliency, but the extent of their impact is unclear. Further, there may be other, unknown contributing factors. Whatever the reasons, it would appear that women have more to gain from divorce, at least on the happiness front.

Women Have Fewer Regrets

Although both parties play a role in both the dissolution of a marriage, a national study found that 73 percent of women have no regrets about ending an unhappy marriage. This was compared to just 61 percent of men with no regrets. Women were also found to value happiness, success, and even loneliness over the idea of staying in a marriage that made them miserable. In contrast, only a little more than half of all men (58 percent) reported similar feelings. Furthermore, women were said to be less afraid of independence than men.

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