December 04, 2022
Stay-at-home moms who are getting divorced in the Chicago area or elsewhere in Illinois should know that divorce can present many complications, yet it is essential to know that you will not be denied child custody or be considered less qualified for child custody because of your employment status. While remaining a stay-at-home mom can present financial difficulties after your divorce is finalized — and it will likely be necessary to find employment — merely being a stay-at-home mom will not limit your ability to enjoy the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. Our Chicago child custody lawyers can provide you with more information.
First, it is important for both parents in Illinois to know that, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts begin from the presumption that “both parents are fit” for purposes of allocating parental responsibilities, including parenting time. Indeed, the court will only restrict parenting time when the court “finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a parent’s exercise of parenting time would seriously endanger the child’s physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.”
To be clear, a parent’s ability to be allocated parenting time, or the restriction of parenting time, will not be linked to the parent’s current employment status.
Under Illinois law, the allocation of parental responsibilities includes significant decision-making responsibilities (similar to legal custody) and parenting time (similar to physical custody and visitation). When making determinations about how to allocate significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time, the court focuses on what type of arrangement is in the child’s best interests by considering a range of factors. None of those factors include the parents’ earning capacities, either parent’s current employment situation, or other factors related to one of the parents being a stay-at-home parent.
Rather than focusing on economic or employment-related factors, courts consider factors such as:
If you are getting divorced and are a stay-at-home mom, your employment status will not result in the court limiting child custody. However, it is important to remember that your employment status may come up in other divorce issues, such as spousal support and child support. Accordingly, it may not be possible to remain a stay-at-home mom after the divorce.
If you have any questions about child custody in Illinois or any specific concerns about being a stay-at-home mom or about mothers’ rights in a Chicago divorce case, it is important to seek assistance from an experienced Chicago mothers’ rights lawyer who handles child custody cases. At Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, we regularly represent clients in child custody cases and routinely handle issues concerning mothers’ rights. Contact Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group today for more information about how we can assist you.