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Stay at home parents should plan divorces carefully

Some New York couples have one marital partner pursue their career while the other marital partner devotes their time to being a stay-at-home parent.

When a divorce happens, it is important for the stay-at-home parent to understand the family’s finances, so that they can be assured the fair and equitable property division that New York law requires. There are several good ways for the stay-at-home parent to get that understanding, allowing them to navigate the financial aspects of their divorce successfully. Here are some recommendations if you’re that spouse:

1. Get a good accountant.

That means getting a different accountant from the one that you and your marital partner had. You need an independent reviewer of your finances, not someone who may be loyal to the person you are about to divorce. Additionally, the accountant you choose should be able to go over all assets from money in the bank to stocks, and apprise you of the tax consequences of what you may get in the divorce.

2. Get a good financial advisor.

They can help you go over your expected post-divorce expenses and put together a post-divorce budget. Keep in mind that your budget after the divorce will be substantially different from your budget before the divorce, since one person’s income will be covering two households until any future point that you are able to resume work. A part of the planning with the financial advisor should address saving for retirement too.

3. Consider your work options.

You may also want to look at when you can go back to work and how that will affect your plans. A parenting schedule for the children and decisions about whether to sell or keep the house will also be critical in your divorce.