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#1 of 9 Old 05-27-2009, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so we're heading for divorce or legal separation. But I'm being told by all of my family that I need to get a job and NOW. So far I've been able to be at home with my son full time, and have a part time commission job, babysitting and another gig that brings in some money for me each month.

I read the budget thread and am a little freaked out that I would be solely responsible for paying all that on my budget.

The bottom line for me is I want to be the kind of mom I want to be without having to unload my child in a full time daycare scenario. I have a year until he's in Kindergarten, but have dreamed of homeschooling him. Honestly, I get that when the poop hits the fan choices are limited. I'm just wondering how much of what I want I have to give up versus the reality of paying the bills.

How did you make that transition? Or did you just hit the ground running?
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#2 of 9 Old 05-27-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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this really depends on your circumstances. will you have financial support from your ex? is there other assistance you could be eligible for?

i only work when my kids are with their dad. we have them 50/50, so it's possible to earn enough to live very frugally. in the fall i'll go to school full time, so i'll use student loans. their dad doesn't contribute to my household, thus making me eligible for lots of other help. in the end it's a good situation for my kids and i. they don't go to daycare at all, they're always with either me or their dad.
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#3 of 9 Old 05-27-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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It's a very hard question and one that you need to think about very seriously. Regardless of your husband's income, you DO NOT need to plan your budget around child support. If you're going to ask for sole custody, or even joint custody with you as the primary, you need to make sure that YOU can support your children on your own. It's not a pleasant thing to think about, but it's reality.

Since you're talking about getting a head start, you can look for a legitimate work from home job or jobs with odd hours that would allow your husband (or your parents or other family members) to care for your child while you work. Realistically though, if you want to raise your child alone, you're going to have to work.

You also need to consider your earning potential when you decide about your living arrangements. Can you afford an apartment or house on your own? Can you live with relatives? Can you get a roommate (check out www.coabode.com)?

If your husband puts the same value on having you as a SAHM and/or homeschooling that you do, you may be able to work out spousal support to enable you to do that for limited time, but again, you really can't depend on another person because you never know what will happen.

I would suggest that you get to a lawyer immediately (you can get a free consultation) and explain the specifics of your case and find out what you are likely to be awarded with regards to spousal and child support, get busy looking for a job that will allow you to continue with the lifestyle you hope to maintain, and get busy considering living arrangements that will work for your situation.

Good luck...I know these are hard decisions.
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#4 of 9 Old 05-27-2009, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have to admit, as much as he says he wants to support me, and probably will. I think it is smart to just figure on supporting myself. I don't worry about it too much because I kind of feel like we could make due for a while.

The thing is my family doesn't live here, and my husband's job has various daytime and nighttime and irregular hours. So I'm not sure about having a regular schedule I could count on him watching our son. I'll have to figure something out.

Is there a checklist somewhere... Things to do when becoming a single mom.
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#5 of 9 Old 05-27-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaidymama View Post

Is there a checklist somewhere... Things to do when becoming a single mom.

Seriously. Single Parenting for Dummies or something.

Ya know, I was always a sahm, I have 3 little ones who aren't in school yet, and one in school. We agreed on an amt of child support that would enable me, just barely, to keep on staying home. After a few months, I found that didn't work for me.

I want and need to feel independent, to know that I can pay my bills on my own. I don't want to get to the 20th of each month and have to remind xh that his child support is due today, and I need to pay my rent so can he get the check to me....

I am now working half-time, have found a much cheaper housing arrangment and now I could get by, just barely, on my own salary. This means, as long as the child support keeps coming, I can actually afford some extras, save a little bit, just breathe, really. And relax, knowing that if it doesn't come, there won't be a crisis.

So I'd say figure out what your minimum is, and figure out how to make it.
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#6 of 9 Old 05-28-2009, 01:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sugarmoon View Post
Seriously. Single Parenting for Dummies or something.
ot, but i was in the library the other day and there was a whole shelf showcasing the __ for dummies books, and i did run my eye over the titles, looking for one that could help me out. no luck.
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#7 of 9 Old 05-28-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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You mentioned counting on your h for childcare.

I've learned that you have to be as self sufficient (as in, not dependent on you children's father) as possible because they tend to dissapoint at the most inconvenient times. But you do this while still giving them every opportunity to do the right thing.

For example, if they have parenting time and you want to plan a very important to you activity, be prepared to have to make last minute plans for the children or to take them along. Because that may be the day that he lets you down. (this doesn't mean having a sitter on call each time, it does mean keeping a list of people who may be able to be a last minute sitter... or have friends who can be flexible...)

This includes daycare. It's nice if he can. But what if he flakes out on you? Do you have a backup plan?

Child support is similar. If you at all can, keep an emergency fund that you can access if he flakes on his child support or spousal support. Be prepared for the flake while giving him the opportunity to do the right thing. It's a hard thing to depend on someone who has proven undependable for one reason or another in the past.

As to how I made the transition? I still am. I left with nothing. I've had to build up from there because things are still in limbo land and his lawyer is still claiming that child support isn't needed until things are final. Yeah. *sigh*

But... there are a lot of people that you find that are willing to help. Organizations and stuff. Clothing bars (free), WIC, food stamps, community center food pantries that have free post dated (but still OK, think day old bread and stuff) foods... these take care of a lot of necessities (food and clothing) but leave shelter... it's tight but doable then. This helps you get started wtih a new life as long as you're willing to cut a lot out of your life to begin with.

From there, you slowly try to move ahead.

Giving up dreams is the hardes though and I did a lot of greiving. Not just dreams of how my children's life and my life should be (sahm etc) but greiving the "death" of the man I'd thought I'd married.

In my case there was definite abuse so it was a leave now or else situation. And I had strong family support which helped a LOT. But... I've been amazed at how much community support I'm finding. Not finding it all at once... but it's there.

Don't mind criticism. If it is untrue, disregard it; if unfair, keep from irritation; if it is ignorant, smile; if it is justified it is not criticism, learn from it.
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#8 of 9 Old 05-28-2009, 02:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarmoon View Post

I want and need to feel independent, to know that I can pay my bills on my own. I don't want to get to the 20th of each month and have to remind xh that his child support is due today, and I need to pay my rent so can he get the check to me....

:

This is my greatest sense of pride and security... knowing that I can support myself and my ds 100% on my own!
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#9 of 9 Old 05-28-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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I'm in a position where I get a fair amount of child support, and it still only covers my mortgage. I realize this is the AP/NFL site, but for me - being able to buy my kids decent food and clothes and have opportunities for them is just as important as staying home full time. Having said that, I'm in Canada, so I was entitled to a full year of mat leave; also both my kids have hugely thrived in daycare... YMMV, but working and being independant, having savings and working towards total financial freedom is worth it for me.

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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