What happens if I give up work once I’ve had children?

23 family childcare divorce

What happens to spouses who choose to give up work to raise a family? Do they prejudice themselves if they later divorce?

No. It is well-established law that a stay-at-home parent’s contribution to family life is equal to the other spouse’s financial contributions.

How does this work in reality?

If Mr Smith is going out to work every day, and Mrs Smith stays at home with the children, he cannot argue that he should get more money from the house, just because he’s paid the mortgage.

The courts would recognise that Mrs Smith has saved the family money by not having to pay for expensive nursery fees, and by taking on the majority of the childcare herself without Mr Smith having to reduce his working hours, she affords him the opportunity to advance his career. The same applies where it is the husband who stays at home as the primary carer for the children and the wife goes back to work.

So it doesn't matter how much each spouse has been paying?

Of course, there might be situations where Mr Smith made significant contributions towards the family finances above and beyond paying the mortgage each month, which may be factored into the financial settlement if possible and appropriate.

If you would like further advice about his, please contact our Family Law team who can give accurate and detailed advice on your circumstances.

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