Alimony and the Stay-at-home Parent

By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Alimony on Thursday, September 3, 2015.

Always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom or dad? Your personal finances play a big part in that decision. This is especially true if you are separated or divorced from the other parent.

Forbes magazine recently published some Pew Research Center findings about parents who stay at home:

In 2012, 29% of mothers stayed at home with their children, up from 23% in 1999.

In 2012, 16% of all stay-at-home parents were fathers. That’s up from 10% in 1989.

With more parents choosing to stay at home with their children, what are some of the costs?

Cost of baby: According to the Dept. of Agriculture, the cost of raising a child born to a middle-income family will be $245,340 for food, housing, child care, education and other expenses, up to age 18. That doesn’t even include college!

Cost of working: Working also costs. Childcare cost is the biggest expense, with the average yearly cost for full-time care for an infant ranging from $4,863 to $16,430. Add to that bill: work outfits, dry cleaning, restaurant lunches, Frappuccinos, and your daily commute.

Wages: In addition to out-of-pocket costs, a child costs an average of $49,000 in lost lifetime wages for women due to taking time off to raise children, or choosing less demanding, lower-paying work to accommodate children.

Divorce: Researchers have found that women’s income drops by an average of 40% – and men’s by 25% – after a divorce. This makes it harder for parents to be the stay-at-home parent they dream of.

Alimony: Divorce is bad, but it gets even worse. I’ve written before about several bills in Florida to reform alimony. Over the past years, there has been a steady effort to reduce both the length of the term of alimony, in addition to lowering the amount of alimony a court can award in a divorce.

The financial impact of taking time off from work to raise your children can be very sobering. If you are contemplating that decision, information can help you make that decision.

The Forbes article can be found here.