This becomes a big issue in many cases, because that’s essentially the argument that’s made by both sides. One side is going to be arguing that the parent is a stay-at-home parent and then the other side is going to be arguing that the person is basically unemployed. So, that often becomes a key issue in the case, especially when it comes to parenting and spousal support..
Often, one of the arguments that’ll be made is that the person needs spousal support to obtain additional skills, because they have been a stay-at-home parent for a number of years. The other side usually argues that’s not the case because this person either just volunteers to stay home, didn’t want to get a job, or couldn’t get a job for whatever reason. The court is really going to look at that and evaluate a number of different factors. For example,one factor is going to be, well, what is the actual education of this person? Is it a reasonable argument to make that they really were a stay-at-home parent and need the additional training or education? So let’s say that you’ve got somebody who’s highly educated. They have high skills and their home. You could make a pretty good argument here that the person is in fact, by agreement of the parties, a stay at home parent.
One issue you may have in these situations is let’s say you’ve got somebody who doesn’t have a long track record of work, and they have been taking care of the kids for years. If you can it’s always best to find records of communication or even third parties who have witnessed discussions about what the intent was of the people who were involved in the divorce. That’s something that’s going to be very key. So if you have somebody who was witnessing communication between the two people talking about it, or if you have email communications, or even text messages, that’s all going to be helpful for a court to sort out whether the parties legitimately agreed upon one parent being a stay at home parent. The court is going to be looking at all of that and any evidence you have is going to be helpful to the court.
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