For any mom, divorce is a hard thing to handle. For stay-at-home moms, it can be even tougher to handle, as you'll have to figure out how to support yourself and the children without the income from your soon-to-be ex husband. Take a look at these tips to help you plan and survive on your own.
1. Consider Your Skills
Chances are you'll have to go back to work. If it's been awhile since you've been in the workforce, your skills may be outdated. In this case, the best thing you can do is use the skills you have to land a job, and look to tuition reimbursement, online colleges or on-the-job training to build your skill set.
2. Look for Jobs
Once you've determined your skills, search through various outlets, both online and off, to try to locate a job that matches your skill set. If nothing is available, consider visiting a local JobLink for help. Working from home may also be a possibility. Consider becoming a virtual assistant, freelance writer or a customer service representative. If these don't suit you, there are several other work at home options, and you can find plenty of information here at WAHM.com.
3. Consider Child Support Laws
The child's father will pay child support, even if the two of you share joint custody. Depending on the state and the income levels of each parent, the amount and frequency of child support will vary. While the income from child support will be available to help you, it likely won't be enough to survive on (while paying all the bills, buying food, taking care of clothes and shoes, etc.). Find out how much will be paid to you if you don't have an income, and find out what you can do if you are not being paid. Knowing this information beforehand will help.
4. Look for Daycare
If you find a job outside the home and have children that are not old enough to be in school, you'll need to look for some form of childcare while you are working. Consider how close the daycare is to work, the fees and the quality of care when choosing the one for your child.
5. Use Assistance Programs
Single mothers qualify for many assistance programs. For those who need them, they are a very valuable resource. There are programs available to help make sure the children have health insurance, to help with paying rent and to help with food. Apply for these programs, and use them until you can get on your feet.
Start putting the plan in motion as soon as possible after you and your spouse decide to divorce. Some states don't require an extended period of separation before a divorce goes through, though some require up to a year's separation before a divorce is granted. Make use of the time before and during the divorce to stabilize yourself and your children.