• Locations
    • Chicago Office 77 W. Wacker Drive, 45th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
    • Lake Forest Office 100 Saunders Rd., Suite 150 Lake Forest, IL 60045
    • Lisle Office 3333 Warrenville Rd.,Suite 200 Lisle, IL 60532

Working Women & Divorce

Decades ago, it was not as common for married women and mothers to work outside the home as it is today. However, the difference between women’s participation in the workforce between the mid-20th century and today is smaller than most probably imagine: in 1950, women comprised 29.6 percent of the civilian workforce. In 2015, they were 46.8 percent of the workforce.

When a couple divorces, their assets must be divided equitably. Each partner’s career choices and contributions to the household are considered when determining how to divide them. Both partners’ career status and needs are also considered in determinations of child support and parenting plans.

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Career Choices and Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is meant to protect the lesser earning spouse from financial hardship following the couple’s divorce. If one spouse opted to stay home or work part time to devote herself (or himself) to the couple’s family, that spouse may seek spousal maintenance in their divorce.

It is rare, but not impossible, for permanent maintenance to be awarded. More often, the court determines what the lesser earning spouse realistically needs in terms of time and support to prepare to reenter the workforce and become self-sustaining. Maintenance is then paid to that spouse for a limited period of time, after which he or she is expected to support him- or herself.

Working Women and Parenting Plans

Despite advances in economic equality between the sexes, women are still more likely to leave the workforce or delay their career advancement by taking less strenuous work in order to stay home with their children. When a divorcing couple has children, each parent’s availability to the children is considered when developing their parenting plan. If the mother is the parent whose schedule makes it easier for her to be with the children after school and handle their day-to-day needs, the court may determine that living primarily with her is in the children’s best interest.

Financial Needs and Realities and How they Work into a Couple’s Property Division Settlement

Many different factors are considered when dividing a couple’s marital assets, and some of these factors relate to each partner’s career. These include:

  • Each partner’s income and future earning capacity;
  • Each partner’s separate assets, such as investments made before entering the marriage;
  • Each partner’s interest in a small business or a professional practice; and
  • Each partner’s financial and noneconomic contributions to the household.

Work with an Experienced Illinois Divorce Lawyer

Few of us have the luxury to choose whether to work or not. For those of us who do have that luxury, and even those who have to work to earn a living, but have some flexibility in terms of how much we can work and when, the choices we make regarding our careers can be critical factors that come into play during our divorces. To learn more, schedule your free consultation with one of the experienced divorce lawyers at Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group today.


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Women's Divorce & Family Law Group by Haid & Teich Chicago Divorce Lawyers

Contact Information

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office
Lake Forest Office
Lisle Office
Lake Forest Office

100 Saunders Rd.
Suite 150

Lake Forest, IL 60045

Lisle Office

3333 Warrenville Rd.
Suite 200

Lisle, IL 60532

Downtown Chicago/Loop Office

77 W. Wacker Drive
45th Floor

Chicago, IL 60601

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