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Can you get spousal support as a stay-at-home dad?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Firm News |

Since California is a community property state, any marital assets that you and your spouse have will, in theory, be divided equally. You have the ability, of course, to negotiate a property division arrangement that deviates from that standard, but that might be difficult to do.

But will evenly dividing the marital estate provide you with the financial resources that you need and deserve as you move into your post-divorce life?

If not, then you might want to think about seeking spousal support. But if you’re a stay-at-home dad, then you might feel strange considering such a request.

You shouldn’t shy away from seeking alimony if you need it to enjoy the same standard of living that you had during your marriage or if you need the support to become self-sufficient. In fact, the law is gender-neutral, meaning that both men and women can seek out that support if they think that they’re entitled to it.

How do you go about arguing for support?

First, it’s important to note that you might not have to argue at all. You may be able to discuss the issue with your spouse and convince them to agree to a spousal support arrangement. They may be willing to do this, especially if they’re afraid of what taking the matter to court will do to them.

But even if you anticipate resolution, you should still be armed with evidence supporting not only your request for alimony, but also the amount that you’re seeking. Here are some tips for successfully seeking the support that you need:

  • Show your limited earnings capacity: Part of your alimony determination is going to be based on your inability to be self-sufficient. Therefore, you’ll want to be prepared to show the court that your earnings capacity is limited. This may be accomplished by showing your lack of work experience, education, and/or skills.
  • Demonstrate the sacrifices that you made: One way to show that you’re deserving of spousal support is to show the court the sacrifices that you made during your marriage. After all, showing that you gave up your career to stay home to take care of your children can go a long way toward showing what you missed out on by supporting your family. Another sacrifice that you might be able to show is giving up your own education to work to support your spouse while they got an advanced degree, especially if that higher education led to a better paying job.
  • Illustrate your marital standard of living: Remember, the court is going to try to position you such that you enjoy the standard of living that you had during your marriage. Therefore, you’ll want to present everything you can to support a higher standard of living, whether that means proving that you drove nice cars, regularly ate out at nice restaurants, or frequently shopped for nice clothes.
  • Prove your spouse’s ability to pay: The court is only going to order spousal support if it’s confident that your spouse can afford it. Therefore, you’ll want to paint a clear picture of your spouse’s income and their earnings capacity.

Fight for the financial lifeline that you need and deserve

Spousal support can be a financial lifesaver as you try to get your post-divorce life in order. That’s why you need to be prepared to vigorously advocate for the outcome that protects your best interests.

Of course, this may mean being more aggressive than you’re comfortable with. But don’t let that daunt you. Instead, seek out the help that you need in the form of an experienced family law professional. By doing so, you may be able to proceed confidently with your spousal support request.