In lengthier marriages where one partner has been a stay-at-home spouse and parent for most of the marriage, the homebound spouse often asks: should I look to get a job now that I know my spouse and I are going to divorce?
There are differing schools of thought on this important question. And sometimes the answer really depends on all the particulars of a given case.
But whether one generally favors putting off (or avoiding altogether) a return to the workforce or diving back in as soon as possible, there are considerations to bear in mind beyond the current number of dollars of salary potentially traded for dollars of current alimony:
- health insurance and other employee benefits of a job
- social security contributions for the future
- retirement benefits
- future raises
- a foot in the workplace at a time of life where that may be difficult to achieve
- the potential for the ex’s death (although life insurance generally can protect against that eventuality)
- the potential for the ex’s disability (statistically a likelier risk, which is less likely to be adequately protected against)
- the potential for the ex’s job loss or career setback
And, of course, the psychological and social benefits of working, which can be very beneficial to people going through divorce.