Studies confirm that women can suffer economically much more, over time, than men after divorce. You may be receiving child support and spousal support (maintenance), or a combination of the two called in Illinois “unallocated support,” but maintenance is sometimes periodic and reviewable, and you likely cannot rely solely on both these income sources to sustain you and your children. Men that have careers tend to, over time, increase their incomes and save more for future years, while women tend to struggle to maintain an adequate financial roof over their heads over time. Because Illinois’ Supreme Court put a premium on forcing courts to “break all entanglements” after divorce, this has lead some judges to terminate spousal support after but a few years post divorce. At that point, the woman is on her own, financially, in the world. Being mindful of this fact, and preparing for it, is important.
If you are working part-time, see about converting to full-time if your child care needs can be met appropriately and economically. If you need to, update your credentials at a local university or community college. Other suggestions include:
-Positions with work hours during school hours
-Join a Chamber of Commerce to network within your community -Make a strict budget and try not exceed it -Do not take on new unnecessary debt -Update your existing skillsets with Excel or Powerpoint classes
Some years ago, I posted a video on this Blog about the empowerment for women that comes along with seeking or keeping employment after divorce. Not only can the additional earnings be very useful, but the emotional and psychological benefits of daily work, daily interaction with people, and the rhythm of having a home life and a work life are important, too.
Judges are increasingly looking to sever all ties to parties that have divorced, and that includes spousal support in many cases. Women that have been in shorter or intermediate term marriages must prepare for the fact that one day, spousal support will end. When that day comes, the savvy woman will be ready, and it is my job to counsel her during the divorce process along this path. As her lawyer, I must seek and gain the best financial outcome in the divorce case as is possible for her, but even the best outcomes usually require careful planning for the future.