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Kane County Divorce Lawyers for Stay-at-Home Parents

Kane County Stay-at-Home Parents Lawyers

Divorce Attorneys Representing Full-Time Parents and Homemakers in St. Charles and Geneva

Many couples choose to have one parent be the primary income provider while the other parent manages child and home care. The stay-at-home spouse can feel at a significant disadvantage in a divorce.

When a couple has underage children, one or both parents may prefer to have the stay-at-home parent remain in that role. That may not be feasible for financial or other reasons. Alternatively, one or both parties might expect the stay-at-home spouse to become financially self-sufficient, which can be difficult for a person who has been out of the workforce for a long time.

The attorneys of Weiler & Lengle P.C. have extensive experience in helping families with a stay-at-home spouse transition through divorce. We can successfully negotiate a settlement for you, whether you are a man or woman, stay-at-home parent or income earner.

The first step is to determine the goal for the stay-at-home parent, which might be to remain a stay-at-home parent for a specific number of years, immediately re-enter the workforce, start their own business, or obtain additional training that will improve their employment opportunities. Your Weiler & Lengle P.C. attorney will then direct all efforts toward helping you achieve that goal.

Help for Stay-at-Home Spouses 

Illinois law encourages spouses, with the help of their attorneys, to negotiate agreements regarding the division of property and maintenance (alimony) payments. The attorneys of Weiler & Lengle P.C. will carefully examine your financial situation and work to find the right combination of income-producing assets and maintenance payments to achieve your stated goal. Illinois divorce law provides a number of provisions that can be applied in favor of a stay-at-home spouse.

Maintenance payments, also known as alimony or spousal support, are one way to help a stay-at-home spouse transition from married to unmarried life. In divorce settlements finalized by December 31, 2018, alimony received favorable tax treatment. The high-income payor could deduct alimony payments from their income on their federal tax return, and the low-income recipient would report the alimony payments as income and pay the taxes on it at their lower tax rate. For divorces finalized in 2019 or later, this favorable tax treatment is not available. The payor has to pay the income taxes on maintenance payments while the recipient receives the money tax-free.

Despite the change in tax treatment, when a couple has more income than liquid assets, maintenance payments can provide an income stream for the stay-at-home spouse.

Property division is another mechanism for helping a stay-at-home spouse. Illinois law does not require a 50/50 division of marital assets but rather a division in "just proportions" considering a variety of factors. Some of the factors that can be argued in favor of a stay-at-home spouse include:

  • Their contribution of the acquisition, preservation, or increase in value of marital or non-marital property, including their contribution as a homemaker.
  • Their economic circumstances at the time of the divorce, including their non-marital assets and income from current employment or investments.
  • Their age, health, employability, and reasonable opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets and income.

In considering the division of property, a few matters of particular importance to a stay-at-home spouse are:

  • The division of marital retirement savings and pension benefits. This will be of great importance for a spouse who may not qualify for Social Security benefits based on their own work record and who does not have substantial retirement savings of their own.
  • The sale of the marital home. If the couple has substantial equity in the home, its sale could provide additional funds for spousal maintenance.

Family-Oriented Divorce Lawyers in St. Charles, Illinois

The attorneys of Weiler & Lengle P.C. regularly handle divorces for stay-at-home parents. After studying your specific financial situation, we will make sound legal recommendations for structuring your divorce settlement to safeguard your financial future. Contact us in our St. Charles office at 630-382-8050. We serve in clients in St. Charles, Geneva, and neighboring communities in Kane County.

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