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Property division involving stay-at-home parents

On Behalf of | May 1, 2019 | Family Law |

Divorcing couples in Georgia must make some important decisions regarding the division of marital property. While some states require an equal distribution of joint assets, most states only require that assets are divided fairly. When one partner stays home to take care of children and the other works, it may be harder to decide what this fair distribution would look like.

Around a quarter of mothers stay at home to take care of the children and household. On the other hand, only 7% of fathers do the same. Of the stay-at-home mothers, about 10% are highly educated and have at least a master’s degree.

When a stay-at-home mother gets divorced, splitting the marital property will involve considering various factors. Stay-at-home moms provide less financial value, but they might still be entitled to half of the assets for the unpaid contributions they make. After all, the breadwinner may be able to spend more time focusing on work promotions if they know the stay-at-home parent will handle childcare responsibilities.

In a study conducted by two Vanderbilt professors, 3,000 people were given a scenario involving a hypothetical couple. After 17 years of marriage, the working man in the couple filed for divorce. The mother stayed at home with the couple’s three children. There were variables that changed like education levels and the amount of joint property the couple had. Women tended to give the mother in this scenario more in the hypothetical divorce settlement. Men gave the mother more if she had a higher level of education.

Family law matters involving property division and spousal support may rely on factors such as any children involved, the breadwinner’s ability to provide support and the caregiver’s ability to find a job. If both parents plan to spend equal time with the children, this could influence child and spousal support as well. Legal counsel could help a couple come to a post-marriage agreement.


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