Stay-at-home parenting is a viable option in today’s world. There are certainly economic issues to be addressed, but an at-home parent can obtain custodial rights. In the event of divorce or separation, stay-at-home moms have the same legal rights as any other parent. An experienced divorce attorney can be of great assistance in helping a stay-at-home mom pursue all aspects of their child custody arrangement.
Can a Stay-at-Home Mom Win Child Custody?
Stay-at-home parents can obtain legal custody if the facts and evidence support it. In Pennsylvania, the standard of “what is in the best interest of the child” does not contain any presumption that prefers one parent over the other. The Court is aware that many stay-at-home parents have not worked outside the home for years and will consider the entire family dynamic and the best interest of the children when making its decision. Be aware, however, that there are certain support issues to be discussed, with a good child custody lawyer.
Your Rights as a Stay-at-Home Mom
As a stay-at-home parent, your rights to pursue legal and physical custody and relevant child support are no different from that of the parent who is the sole financial support of the family.
Tips for Winning Your Custody Case as a Stay-at-Home Mom
While each case is unique to the facts and circumstances of the family, the Court considers several child custody factors in making its determination of the best interest of the child. You can strengthen your case by following these three tips.
1. Don’t Withhold Visitation from Your Ex
Barring evidence to the contrary, the Court looks very strongly at the child’s ability to have a healthy relationship with BOTH parents. By withholding visitation, you could hurt your case significantly. Keep detailed notes of your invitations to share in events with the child, missed visits, and other relevant matters to show you also support the child’s relationship with the other parent.
2. Behave Appropriately
While emotions are extremely high in divorce and custody cases, remaining calm and appropriate during the divorce process is very much in your best interest. A successful attorney would regularly give her client’s this advice, “don’t be the person the other party wants to portray you as.” The Court understands the stress you are under as a stay-at-home mom during a litigated divorce, but do all you can to maintain a calm and caring demeanor and attitude.
3. Don’t Introduce a New Significant Other Too Early
Divorce is difficult for children, and their needs for stability must come first. Find a balance that allows your child to settle into their new life, then slowly introduce new factors. Being deliberate in deciding when to introduce a significant other is important.
Can A Stay-at-Home Mom Get Alimony?
A stay-at-home parent may be able to obtain spousal support as part of the divorce settlement. Key factors that the Court will consider in determining spousal support for stay-at-home parents include:
- The financial assets and liabilities of each party
- The length of the marriage
- The relative education of the parties and the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking support to find appropriate employment
- The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker
- The presence of minor children and the effect of caregiving requirements on the other factors
Family Law Attorneys for Stay-at-Home Moms
Stay at home parents have the same rights as any other parent does. Expert advice and counsel from an experienced family law attorney can help you craft a strategy for your best child custody and child support agreement. Put Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC.’s decades of combined experience to work for you! Having an attorney who truly cares about you and your family can make all the difference.