At risk of sounding cliché, divorce is never easy, especially when there are children involved. Divorcing when there are children is one of the most difficult things a parent will ever go through, as not only are they forced to let their children know that Mommy and Daddy will no longer be living together, but also, they will have to “share” their time with the other parent. This means they will not get to see their child X days out of the year, that every other Christmas morning will be spent at the other parent’s house, and that there may come a time when another mother or father figure will step in to co-parent. All that is just the tip of the iceberg. However, for some parents, divorce is much more difficult than for others, such as for the stay-at-home parent.
The “Displaced Parent” Phenomenon
Due to several factors—most of them monetary—couples often choose to have one parent stay at home with the children while the other one goes to work full time. This arrangement not only makes sense from a financial standpoint, but it also makes sense from a familial standpoint. The couple can save money on childcare costs and while the working parent is in the office, the stay-at-home parent can take care of all those other pesky obligations that come with running a home and family, such as grocery shopping, cleaning, paying bills, and other home maintenance chores. When the workweek is over, the family can spend quality time together instead of worrying about what needs to be done in the short amount of free time they do have.
That said, such an arrangement is all well and good until the couple decides to part ways, at which point, the stay-at-home-parent becomes “displaced.” This phenomenon actually has a name, “displaced parent,” and refers to the challenges that the SAHP is bound to face during and post-divorce. If you fear being displaced after your divorce, of if you are worried that your contribution to the family will be diminished in the eyes of the family courts, reach out to the Dallas divorce attorneys at Udeshi Clark and Associates for help today. We can help you navigate the tumultuous process that is divorce and work your way past the challenges that you are likely to face.
Common Challenges of the SAHP in Divorce
Divorce poses numerous challenges for everyone, but as a stay-at-home-parent, you might feel as if your challenges are unique (which they are) and insurmountable (which they are not). Some worries you may have include:
Worries About Money
This is normal no matter what your title was pre-divorce; however, for a one-income family, the stress is very real. Some families can support two households on one income while others simply cannot. If you fall into the latter category, use this divorce as an opportunity to get the training you need to return to the workforce and to thrive as an independent.
Many SAHP have been in the role for years—five, ten, or even 20—making job prospects slim. These parents do not have the experience necessary to compete with other, more qualified candidates and may need to brush up on their education or training to even be considered. This is all on top of the fact that the average job search takes 43 days, during which the parent will still have to care for the family and take care of other aspects of the divorce. If this is the point at which you find yourself, a skilled lawyer can make sure that you receive maintenance support for as long as you need to find suitable employment, in accordance with Texas Family Code, Sec. 8.054.
The Stress of Transitioning
Many displaced parents undergo extreme bouts of stress and even anxiety over the prospect of transitioning from the role of SAHP to working parent. A compassionate divorce attorney will help you through the stress and anxiety by outlining your options for treatment (therapy) and even coming up with viable solutions for your biggest concerns, including who will care for the children and home while you are away at work.
Work With a Compassionate Dallas Divorce Lawyer
At Udeshi Clark and Associates, our goal is to help people like you achieve as stress-free of a divorce as possible. Though you will find yourself faced with many challenges in the months to come, our empathetic and knowledgeable team will help you navigate those hurdles and come out the other end of your divorce with a positive outlook and a newfound confidence. If you are worried about your future and simply want to come to a settlement that is in the best interests of your entire family, call 469-906-2226 to schedule your visit today.