All of us have dreams and goals as to what we want to achieve for our futures. Our dreams and goals involve a wide variety of elements relating to career, health, marriage and family.
Not many people have ‘it all’. Most of the time, we focus our attention, energy and effort on one or two areas in our life because balance is important.
Often times getting married and having children creates difficult decisions for both spouses and one spouse is required to make sacrifices in relation to their education and career.
Read on to find out why and let us help make going back to work after divorce easier for you.
Parties who marry often make sacrifices in relation to their education and career. The reasons for this are wide ranging, for example:
- Education is expensive. Paying university /Tafe fees and all the associated costs is not affordable to most. Not everybody qualifies for HECS and a loan is not an option for some people.
Alternatively, if a party gets married and has children whilst in the middle of their education, they may need to defer completion of their course to care for children or because their finances do not support them continuing their studies;
- Financial Security. Sometimes people choose not to pursue an education or career once they are married or have children due to having financial security which enables them to support the family on one income, allowing them to concentrate on non-financial activities, such as caring for the children or supporting the other spouse in his/her career.
- Having children is a dramatic life change. When parents have children, they face the big decision as to who will defer their education and career and for how long they will do so, in order to care for their new children. Very few parents are able to juggle looking after an infant child whilst both are working in full time employment and/or studying. Often times, one parent may have to indefinitely defer their education or career to stay at home and care for the children, whilst the other party is given the opportunity to climb the career ladder and further their career;
- Sometimes one spouse, usually the higher income earner, is provided a job opportunity which involves the parties and children moving to a different state. In these circumstances, the other spouse is put in the position where they are required to sacrifice their education and career goals in order to support their spouse in order to advance their career;
- Pressure and duress from a spouse. It is a common scenario that one spouse is pressured not to work by the other spouse in order to exert financial control over that spouse. This is a form of domestic violence and a red flag and a symbol of power imbalance within a relationship.
Going back to work after divorce is made easier with spousal maintenance
If you are unable to work, due to illness, having care of young children, and/or have been out of the workforce for a significant period of time such that your capacity for employment is limited, you may be entitled to spousal maintenance if you are unable to financially support yourself adequately from your own income and resources, and the other party has a much greater income than you, and is therefore able to assist in your financial support.
The court may order the payment of spousal maintenance if it is satisfied that you are unable to support yourself adequately from your own income and resources and the other party (the higher income earner) has the capacity to support you.
Spousal Maintenance orders may also be made on a longer term basis after a final property settlement has been achieved, to assist you to pay for an education so that you may re-enter the workforce and resume your career after a significant period of absence in paid employment.
In considering what spousal maintenance you might be entitled to claim from the other party to pay for your education and training in order to enable you to re-enter the workforce, a court has regard to a wide variety of factors:
- your age and health;
- your income, property and financial resources;
- your ability to work;
- what is a suitable standard of living; and
- if the marriage/relationship has affected your ability to earn an income.
The Court will consider your contributions during the relationship to the care of the children and the welfare of the family and your indirect contributions to the other party’s career advancement. Importantly, by staying at home and caring for the children, you have indirectly contributed to the other party’s ability to climb the career ladder, to earn an income and to their super.
The court will consider the time it will take for you to acquire the education or training necessary to get a job that will enable you to support yourself adequately, provided of course that the court assesses that the other party has the capacity to provide you with financial support for this purpose.
Tips for going back to work after divorce
There are a wide variety of things you can do to help make going back to work after divorce easier.
- Decide what you want to do – you do not have to work in the area you used to work in. Be open to new ideas and new roles;
- Make google your friend – download example resumes and get an idea of how to draft your own;
- Research the types of areas you are interested in and the courses that are appealing to you;
- Engage with a recruitment company so they can keep an eye out for jobs you are interested in;
- Practice interviewing with friends or family;
- Join a networking group. These groups are extreme value adders. People you meet can help build your confidence and may be able to introduce you to employers in the industry you are interested in;
- Talk to other single parents who have gone back to work and see how they have managed and what their secret is;
- Believe in yourself! You worked before the kids. You have managed being a single parent for this long. You are capable of anything you put your mind to.
For more information and tips on going back to work visit the following pages:
Contact us to discuss your right to spousal maintenance when going back to work after divorce
Separation is an emotionally turbulent and stressful time. Often we find clients who have been absent from the work force for a significant period have low self worth, they are not prepared to ask for what they deserve and they do not feel as ‘entitled’ as the other party in the relationship, because they were not the primary financial provider. What is important to remember is that just because you were not the breadwinner does not diminish your contributions to the property pool that exists today. Had you not been available to care for the children, the other party would not have climbed the career ladder and neither of you would be in the financial position that you are today.
Let us help make going back to work after divorce easier for you.
We will navigate you through all issues related to your separation so that you have the capacity to financially support yourself and your children now and in the future.
Contact us today for an obligation free no cost consultation to discuss your rights and entitlements.