What Professional Mothers Should Know When Preparing For a Divorce
Many working mothers in King County, Washington, feel like they make sacrifices for their family and do double-duty as both a mother and a career woman. Professional women who are preparing for a divorce often expect that their hard work will not harm them when post-divorce arrangements are considered. However, many working women find themselves fighting uphill battles to win time with their children and a reasonable support plan.
Changes in Family Dynamics
In recent years, many households have broken away from the model of the husband being the breadwinner and the wife taking care of the children. Today, there is no typical family or arrangement, and in many families, women are the providers while men care for the children. The Huffington Post reports that more than two-thirds of mothers work, and that more than a quarter of those women out-earn their husbands.
For working mothers who are contemplating divorce, this change can be important. A report in Working Mothers Magazine indicated that many professional women are ordered to pay alimony and struggle to win child custody. Roughly half of the fathers who seek sole custody today are awarded it, according to the same article.
Most working mothers put an appreciable effort into caring for their children and keeping the household running smoothly, even if they aren't physically home all of the time. Yet, as a story from Working Mothers Magazine illustrates, if the father takes the children to every activity, meets with figures like teachers and is in general highly visible to the outside world, the mother may have difficulty proving how much she actually does for the children.
In Washington, parents are not awarded sole or joint custody; instead, they follow a parenting plan. Working mothers may find it difficult to win as much residency time as they desire in this plan. However, there are a few measures that working mothers can take to improve their chances of finding a favorable arrangement.
Tips for Working Mothers
The Huffington Post suggests that professional women who are concerned about being awarded enough time with their children do the following:
- Become visible in the child's life — make attending doctor's appointments, parent-teacher conferences and extracurricular activities a priority.
- Keep a log of the time spent on these activities as well as other time spent with the children.
- Scale back hours at the office, bring more work home or see if the employer will allow a flextime arrangement.
- Hire an experienced attorney and attempt to reach an arrangement outside of court.
The prospect of handling a divorce, potentially supporting an ex-spouse and finding a desirable parenting arrangement may seem daunting to working mothers. It's important for these mothers to always think about what will be best for the children but still make sure that their rights are protected.
Anyone who is preparing for a divorce should contact an attorney to ensure that both personal assets and parenting rights are protected during the process.