Whether a woman decides to stay home or return to work after having a baby is an extremely personal decision. Louisiana families often consider whether they can live on a single income and what the cost of child care would be if both parents worked. While these considerations can make finances easier during marriage, deciding to stay home can leave some women worried about their lives and financial stability after a divorce.
Louisiana is one of the few states that operates under community property laws in divorce proceedings. For stay-at-home moms who are going through a divorce this might come as good news and may reflect what many people believe — that taking care of the kids is valued just as much as the primary breadwinner’s income. However even dividing marital property that is equal in value can provide different levels of financial stability. Think of the marital house, which comes with property taxes and the cost of upkeep against the money held in a joint account.
Stay-at-home moms also face other challenges after a divorce. Some studies have shown that judges are unlikely to award long-term alimony to women who chose to stay home and care for their children. Since alimony is often an important part of establishing financial security after divorce, this can be especially detrimental to women who have been out of the workforce for any period of time.
Women who stayed at home with their children during their marriage should not be penalized for making the best possible decision for their family at the time. However, it is not always easy to advocate for oneself. Divorcees in Louisiana who want to protect their financial stability after divorce may want to consider speaking with an experienced attorney about their options.